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Gunrunners radio series
Gunrunners radio series
This major BBC World Service series, investigates the international illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

It examines how and why such weapons are trafficked, the negative impact of the trade and the international efforts employed to tackle it.
Listen to Programme One
(30 minutes)
Programme One - The Weapons of War

Gunrunners begins with a first hand account from Sierra Leonean teenager, Alhaji Sawaneh. Sawaneh was abducted by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels as a child and forced to fight alongside them in the bush.

There are interviews with a helicopter pilot who fought as a mercenary against the RUF, and a radio operator who witnessed diamonds-for-guns deals along the Liberia- Sierra Leone border.

We also hear the testimony of Rafi Saditi, a guerrilla commander of the National Liberation Army (NLA) in Macedonia. A 23-year old Albanian smuggler also explains how he bought up guns stolen from military depots in 1997, and smuggled them north into Kosovo.

Listen to Programme Two
(30 minutes)
Programme Two - The Global Arms Trade

Moving arms around the world requires a degree of invention.

We hear from a legitimate dealer in Kalashnikovs attending a Paris arms fair, gangsters in El Salvador and a young man in Texas who used to trade in guns stolen from trains.

What are the profit margins? What affects supply and demand in the illegal arms trade? And where does the legal trade merge into the illegal?

Listen to Programme Three
(30 minutes)
Programme Three - The Cost of Crime

The economic, social and personal cost of the illegal arms trade is high.

Philip Fiske talks to those who have suffered as a result of gun violence - in the Balkans, West Africa and Central America.

How many lives are lost annually as a result of small arms proliferation? To what extent is the trade responsible for forcing people in different regions of the world to flee their homes? And what is the economic cost of the trade?

Listen to Programme Four
(30 minutes)
Programme Four - Weapons Control

A UN conference "on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects" held in New York in 2001, proposed a programme of action to tackle gun crime.

The final programme of the series assesses what is being done to combat the illegal trade in arms and asks to what extent should authorities be trying to limit demand rather than concentrating on supply?

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