The West celebrates the milestone signing of the International Arms Trade Treaty, the one which keeps the major powers baffled, US is restrained from singing in order to wait and vigilantly watch the developments that how the world reacts to the treaty whilst China and Russia seem to stay in a denial mode indefinitely. Yet, the signatories, almost 1/3 countries of the world, attach their utmost hopes to the treaty to end the unabating violence and blood bath that has engulfed the third world, mainly, mid-Africa.
UN General Assembly confirms the legal trans-border contracts through the treaty on the condition that what come may the weapons shall not be used in terrorism whether state-sponsored or carried out by banned outfits, for human rights violation or abusing laws.
The treaty is aimed at keeping a vigilant check on the illicit transfer or trafficking of small arms and light weapons both within and across the border. Many analysts argue, the treaty has revitalized in states’ mind like Germany, France and Britain that how global security complements peace in Europe who are ready now to lay down standards of arms trade regulations and to charge vigorously against European industries if any arms moment is found without EU’s prior knowledge and authorization. However, the ground realities may differ.
Soul-harrowing cries of the naïve women and children victimized to civil wars or violence ensued from militancy are being ruthlessly buried under the resounding applause the signatory, but arms producing countries are receiving. However, the fate of the treaty is inextricably linked with the peace and stability of those war-torn regions which have witnessed blood of the indigenous being shed by the Europe-manufactured weapons. Somalia is home to civil war and blood bath since 1993, every home in old or partitioned Sudan is drenched in human blood. Amazingly, these war-torn impoverished states cannot afford to get their public fed with one time healthy meal then how did they get access to the most sophisticated light weapons? The literacy rate of this region is appallingly dismal then how does the majority of public know operating these killing machines? From where did they get the technical know-how and who supplies them with latest machinery every now and then? Don’t these all questions put Europe itself to test?
Myriad of the weaponry used in human massacre in Africa is manufactured in West which brings the judgment to two conclusions; either the Western states are pumping weapons into militia groups to cover their vested interests (the interests vary from natural resources to dumping sites, particularly, dumping of nuclear waste) or they calmly watch their industries undertaking illicit trade to certain fighting groups. In both cases Europe is charged with allegations; the allegations for direct or indirect involvement in fomenting war-like situations in Africa.
The grace of technology and intelligence reporting is on its heights where the movement of the animals on the mountains can be screened then how possibly does the illicit trafficking of weapons and their sponsorship on plainly areas escape?
The covert sponsorship of the West is evident from the fact that a considerable portion of the production from the industries of the West is brokered to flared up the already going on clashes or to run guerrilla warfare in Asia and the Dark Continent. Absolute peace in the world is detrimental to their industries, meaning a substantial loss in the economy. Given the facts in point, to prevent arms from being illegally trafficked appears to be a remote possibility.
Whether the International Arms Trade Treaty is a legal cover to maintain weapons supply to starving African people and creating anarchic situations or the treaty is truly intended for peace remains to be seen.
Jameel-ur-Rehman Baloch is a student of MSC International Relations at NUML National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell 0312-2101531