In this eleventh issue of the Risk Bulletin of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa (August-September 2020), we present a special report on trends in gang recruitment which have arisen since the coronavirus lockdown, and four distinct stories ranging from arms trade to wildlife trafficking.

We present five completely distinct stories on criminal trends in the region, from assassinations in South Africa to arms smuggling in Somalia. We:

  • Present a special report on how recruitment of children by gangs in South Africa and Kenya has risen alarmingly since the pandemic started. School closures and economic hardship have left vulnerable children more vulnerable than ever;
  • Analyze the parallels between cannabis and tortoise trafficking in Madagascar, drawing on recent fieldwork in the Betroka region into the cannabis trade;
  • Document how mining-related killings in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province fuel corruption and socio-political instability, with a particular focus on a spate of assassinations in eMpembeni;
  • Examine the activities of a prominent Somalia-based arms importer, Abdirahman Mohamed Omar, aka ‘Dhofaye’, and follow the money underpinning the Yemen-Somalia arms trade;
  • Highlight how pipeline fuel thefts are skyrocketing in South Africa


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