The combination of low maritime enforcement capacity, limited rule of law on shore, and the presence of and/or proximity to conflict make certain areas in sub-Saharan Africa hotspots for maritime weapons trafficking.
Stable Seas Blog
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most integral hubs for the global trade in illicit wildlife. Wildlife is also among the most profitable illicit trade sectors. Rhino horn, ivory, and pangolin scales are the most common trafficked wildlife products.
In this series, we will explore five ways maritime insecurity facilitates illicit trade in Africa. We argue that the high prevalence of illicit trade activity, including the trafficking of narcotics, wildlife, arms, and counterfeit contraband, is a direct result of the majority of African littoral states having a poorly governed and insecure maritime domain.
The illicit activities plaguing African waters and undermining regional political and economic development include piracy and armed robbery at sea; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and the smuggling and trafficking of weapons, drugs, wildlife, contraband of all kinds, and, of course, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, sufferers of forced labor, and victims of the sex trade.
For nearly two months the tragic war in Yemen has centered around a major assault on the Houthi rebels’ most important strategic asset: the Red Sea port of Hodeidah.