Where Small Arms Can Be Traded For A Chicken


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Drizzt
February 14, 2003, 05:59 PM
Global News Wire - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
Copyright 2003 Accra Mail
African Church Information Service - AAGM


February 10, 2003

LENGTH: 1016 words

HEADLINE: WHERE SMALL ARMS CAN BE TRADED FOR A CHICKEN

BYLINE: Osman Njuguna

BODY:

That Africa is awash with small arms, despite being a negligible producer, and not always at war, is cause for concern. Observers say civil conflicts currently being experienced in parts of the continent are mostly responsible for the mess. But the United Nations recalls that the proliferation of light weapons on the continent started during the Cold War era, reports Osman Njuguna.

Human rights organisations refer to the prevalence of small arms and light weapons as a situation where arms are being used in the absence of conventional wars. They explain that the weapons could prevail in armed robberies, cattle rustling and civil conflicts.

Such is the situation in Africa. The ready availability of small arms and light weapons in parts of the continent, has been a subject of concern.

Top on the list are the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions. Here, the prevalence of civil conflicts has heightened the presence of small arms and light weapons.

The most affected countries include Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

But while this is the situation on the ground, it is also a fact that Africa hardly manufactures such arms. From where then, do they originate?

According to the United Nations (UN), millions of light arms " lightweight, highly portable, and devastatingly effective in the hands of even young or poorly trained users " were shipped to Africa during the Cold War to equip anti-colonial fighters, newly independent states and super-power proxy forces.

'The collapse of the Soviet bloc saw a new flood of small arms entering Africa, as manufacturers put additional millions of surplus Cold War era weapons on the international arms market at cut-rate prices,' states a UN publication titled Small Arms: Counting the Cost of Gun Violence.

Todate, in some parts of Africa, a Soviet-designed AK-47 assault rifle, coveted for its simplicity and firepower, can be purchased for as little as $ 6, or traded for a chicken, or sack of grain.

A 1999 Red Cross report estimated that in the Somali capital (Mogadishu) alone, the 1.3 million residents possessed over a million guns, out of an estimated 550 million small arms in circulation world-wide. The ratio of gun-to-man in this city could therefore, be close to one-to-one.

A human rights report on Kenya, released last May titled Playing With Fire: Weapons Proliferation, Political Violence, and Human Rights in Kenya, cites this East African state as an example of countries that have turned victims of the situation due to their geographical position.

'Kenya is vulnerable to weapons trafficking because of its geographic location in a conflict-ridden region,' the report says.

It explains: 'The weapons circulating in Kenya originate from places as far away as China and the United States, but most of them passed through war zones in neighbouring countries before making their way to Kenya's illegal gun markets'.

For years, Kenya's territory has been a conduit for weapons shipments destined to nearby areas of violent conflict, but more recently, the spread of weapons has spilled back into Kenya itself, according to Human Rights Watch.

A recently released report on a global survey on internally displaced people by the Geneva-based Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), confirms that the continent imports most arms.

The report titled, Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey, also notes that there is manufacture of weapons in parts of the continent, even though limited.

In North Africa, for example, countries like Egypt, Sudan, Algeria and Morocco have varying levels of irregular production capacities.

Countries with production capacities of weapons in sub-Saharan Africa are Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

South Africa is singled out as being Africa's largest and most sophisticated producer of arms.

What worries more though, is the effortless access to the small arms and light weapons. Quite often, they end up in the wrong hands.

According to NRC, the easy presence of light weapons on the continent is responsible for fuelling civil wars and conflicts.

This, according to Ms Virginia Gamba, a former director of the Arms Management Programme of the South African Institute for Security Studies (ISS), poses a major threat to Africa's development.

The UN publication (Small Arms: Counting the Cost of Gun Violence) states: 'Reducing the availability and use of small arms in places where fighting has ended has become increasingly important to Africa's development prospects, as the number of conflicts has increased over the past decade.'

It notes that the widespread abuse of weapons diverts scarce government resources from health and education to public security, discourages investment and economic growth, and deprives developing countries of the skills and talents of the victims of small arms.

However, attempts are being made to remedy the situation. An example cited by the NRC report is a Declaration of a Moratorium on Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons In West Africa in 1998, which the entire 16 member states of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) signed.

More recently, the southern Africa regional Action Programme on Light Weapons and Illicit Arms Trafficking has sought to strengthen regulation and control of small arms and light weapons.

Former immediate Anglican archbishop, Rt Rev Dr David Gitari of kenya, while commenting on the subject, said recently: 'External people, institutions or governments, should feel obliged to battle out the issue, because they have contributed in creating it'.

Rev Gitari was delivering a public lecture on the topic, Towards Conflict Resolution, in Kenya mid last month.

He observed that 'churches should feel obliged to participate in battling out the issue, because it has negative impact on the life of the people through avenues such as escalation of civil conflicts'.

Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media. (allafrica.com)

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El Tejon
February 14, 2003, 07:39 PM
Alright, it's agreed. We head on over to Arkansas to pick up plenty of investment capital (cluck, cluck) and then off to Boogaboogastan!

1 rooster=1 RPG cem'?

BerettaNut92
February 14, 2003, 07:46 PM
" lightweight, highly portable, and devastatingly effective in the hands of even young or poorly trained users "

Why the heck am I training so hard?? :confused:

This gives me an idea...what if I bring a crapload of chickens to Africa? :hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm:

firestar
February 14, 2003, 08:25 PM
$6 for an AK? That is a good deal. I bet they are full auto also. Some people have all the luck.

:D

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
February 15, 2003, 12:32 PM
"How many chickens for your case lot of new Krinkovs?"
"How many chickens equal a goat?"
Small arms and livestock; the currency for the bright new Millennium in the Third World.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Gordon
February 15, 2003, 07:08 PM
And of course all this UN rhetoric adds up to: the guns stores of US should close and Blue Hats should round them up in US!

Weimadog
February 15, 2003, 10:26 PM
That Africa is awash with small arms,

Iwant to be in an area which is awash with small arms, especially when the tide is coming in. I'd grab a few mp5s, a Garand or two, and let the Lorcins just flow down the storm drain.

I can dream.

Weimadog

Navy joe
February 15, 2003, 11:26 PM
Actually you're wrong guys. The VPC told me that the terrorists come here and buy semi-auto AKs for 600 bucks and then slip out of the country.

KS stole my plan! The whole plan is like this. Invade Arkansas, take all the chickens. Poison the water with birth control so they never make another Clinton. Head to Africa, cash in for all the light arms/T-72s that we can. Make our own country now that we've got all the guns. Live happily ever after. The End.

Zundfolge
February 16, 2003, 12:21 AM
$6 for an AK? That is a good deal. I bet they are full auto also. Some people have all the luck.

I'd rather live where the AKs are expensive, but you don't need one to survive :eek:



That said, I think I have a box of Garden Burgers in the freezer ... wonder what I can get for that :p

Redlg155
February 16, 2003, 02:08 AM
$6 a chicken?

Wow. I'm thinking of starting a KFC over there. I should be able to trade a bucket of original recipe for a Dragunov. :D

But then I imagine a Somalian chicken is pretty darn fast. Hence the high price!

Good Shooting
RED

Kahr carrier
February 16, 2003, 05:44 AM
Nope they probably prefer POPEYES chicken, Thats and Idea fill a cargo container full of frozen Popeyes chicken and it there .Than ship it back full of AKs . LOL.:)

Hal
February 16, 2003, 07:42 AM
Let's look at this in perspective as far as real values.

United States purchasing power parity - $36,300 (2001 est.)
Sudan purchasing power parity - $1,360 (2001 est.)
Burundi purchasing power parity - $600 (2001 est.)
Congo(DRC) purchasing power parity - $590 (2001 est.)
Somalia purchasing power parity - $550 (2001 est.)
(source- CIA World Fact Book)
Roughly speaking, ~ median incomes can ~ be derived by PPP for each country

That $6 AK is going to roughly translate to ~ $160 to $396 in US dollars.

Hardly newsworthy.

Typical sensationalism.

TexasVet
February 17, 2003, 12:49 AM
I cannot remember in my half century + when SOME two bit African nation was not
1: at war,
2: having a rebellion,
3: being overrun by armed refugees from the next nation
4: killing off the minority (not in power) tribal rivals or
5: undergoing some kind of coup.

Yohan
February 17, 2003, 12:52 AM
That's it- I'm buying a cow and visiting Kenya the next chance I can get. If a chicken = 1 AK47, imagine what a cow would fetch :-D

Dex Sinister
February 17, 2003, 01:54 AM
Let's look at this in perspective as far as real values.
United States purchasing power parity - $36,300 (2001 est.)[...]
Somalia purchasing power parity - $550 (2001 est.) [...]
Roughly speaking, ~ median incomes can ~ be derived by PPP for each country. That $6 AK is going to roughly translate to ~ $160 to $396 in US dollars.

Er... only if a chicken or a sack of grain goes for ~160 to 396 in US dollars in the U.S.... :scrutiny: ...which was a little overpriced last time I went to the supermarket.

One tends to learn more from real-world comparisons, ala chickens-to-AK's, than one learns from PPP indexes.

Of course if the U.S. wasn't busy nannying its subjects to death, some enterprising American would have shipped a million chickens and bags of grain to Mogadishu, and there wouldn't be either an "small-arms problem," or a hunger problem there.

Likely the only reason the AK's went to Africa in the first place, was because we were forbidden from buying them.

Dex :evil:

Justin
February 17, 2003, 03:18 AM
That said, I think I have a box of Garden Burgers in the freezer ... wonder what I can get for that It would probably get you a beating with either
A)The AK you're trying to buy.
or
B)The frozen Garden Burgers you're trying to hock.

:uhoh:

Tamara
February 17, 2003, 03:23 AM
Which came first, the chicken or the AK?

firestar
February 17, 2003, 04:07 AM
I've got it! I'm going to start a new charity, it will be called CHICKENS FOR GUNS. It will replace all those nasty guns with chickens. People will be fed and guns will be reduced in their country. I will keep the guns and they will keep the chickens. It is a win win situation, that is until they eat their chicken and are hungery again.:rolleyes: They will have to fight each other for food but they won't have any guns. Maybe I could then sell the guns back at a profit. Oh, wait. They don't have anything left to barter with. :(

Hal
February 17, 2003, 05:25 AM
One tends to learn more from real-world comparisons, ala chickens-to-AK's, That's all well and fine,,,,but there's nothing real world about a chicken from the supermarket vs the cost/time/trouble of rasing a chicken in a war torn, famine torn third world pest hole. A chicken or a sack of grain could very well be the only real food a family has for a week,, or 2,, or 3,, in that enviroment.

Like I said, the article is pure sensationalism, written to make the values of the items seem trivial, when in fact they aren't.

Rather than debate this why not just ask someone that's been there? IIRC, The Preacherman spent some time in Africa. Maybe he'd be willing to chime in on the real values of things like grain and chickens over there.

Ed Straker
February 17, 2003, 06:12 AM
I have small arms.
So what - I have a gun - Give me your chickens!

1goodshot
February 17, 2003, 06:56 AM
If I lived over there I would want to have a gun. Better to many than not enough. Life is cheap over there, they are always killing each other of some reason, its better to die armed and fighting than die running .

COHIBA
February 17, 2003, 10:24 AM
kinda off subject, but last year i saw a show about the Ark Of The Covenant being in ethiopia. they showed the building / temple in which it was supposed to be housed surrounded by AK wielding youths. my wife made the comment "machine guns, so what, a bag of quarter pounders and i could back a U-Haul up to the front door".

cordex
February 17, 2003, 11:08 AM
You guys aren't thinking right.
Shipping, say, 100,000 chickens to get an equal number of rifles is going to be hideously expensive (relatively, anyway).

Be cheaper to ship paper money over there along with plenty of armed guards. Pay a few "fixers" to get everything together and then ship everything back on a container ship. Badda bing, badda boom, 100,000 rifles for not too much over $800,000. Distribute them among the THR Investor Club (who originally raised the $800,000) for $20 a pop and there's a huge profit for the organizers already. Then, THR members can sell the rifles they buy at 10 times what they paid for it (sudden flood of beat up select-fire AKs would probably drive the price down a bit, so I figure $200 would be reasonable) and we're set.
Of course, we'd have to get some laws repealed first. Maybe we could cut some congresscritters in on the deal and expand it.

El Tejon
February 17, 2003, 11:24 AM
cordex, yeah, you're right. You know how hard it is to arrange an electronic fund transfer of a chicken to the Bank of Luxembourg? The just won't hold still in the scanner, even if you hold the top down on them.:D

blades67
February 17, 2003, 11:36 AM
How quickly the media choose to forget that the soldiers Clinton sent into Somalia died for sacks of grain that weren't getting to the skinnies because of Ahdid. Those $6 dollar AK-47's are quite expensive after all.

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