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Weapons Sent to Ukraine 'Beginning to Filter' to Africa, Nigerian President Says

© Arise NewsNigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.12.2022
As smuggled arms coming from Ukraine begin to appear in more and more countries, leaders who want to stem the flow are beginning to realize they’ll have to take a collective approach.
Weapons shipped from Western countries to Ukraine are “beginning to filter” to the Lake Chad basin region, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari warned this week.
"Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as major sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the region," Buhari told heads of states from neighboring states participating in the Lake Chad Basin Commission on Tuesday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.
Buhari went on to urge his counterparts to step up security cooperation in the interest of combating the threat of weapons smuggling. Alongside the leaders of Benin, Chad, Niger, and Central African Republic, the Nigerian president agreed to step up military coordination in their countries’ fight against Boko Haram and ISIS* terrorists: who are now reportedly receiving guns from Ukraine.
Russian political leaders and Interpol officials alike have warned for months that weapons sent to Ukrainian nationalists are likely to end up in the hands of hardened criminals in Europe and beyond.
So far, however, western governments have largely refused to take the advice seriously, with many suggested arms bazaars featuring western weapons are the product of Russian disinformation. In September, a British news outlet insisted the existence of such illegal weapons markets “could be an organized disinformation campaign.”
But according to police in Europe, the impacts of the incoming arms are anything but made-up. Last month, Finnish police said a portion of the “huge quantities” of weapons being shipped to Ukraine have made their way to Finland, where “three of the world’s largest motorcycle gangs” now operate---including Bandidos MC, “which has a branch in every major city of Ukraine.”
Christer Ahlgren, head of organized crime at the Finnish police’s bureau of investigations, told a local broadcaster that “it’s impossible to say how many weapons are in the country and in whose hands,” but “we’ll be dealing with these weapons and paying the price here for decades.” And it’s not just Finland; smuggled guns have also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, officials said.
An American news outlet also admitted a shockingly high number of arms bound for Ukraine end up stolen in August. “Like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” read a quote from a tweet which was deleted after internet trolls descended on it en masse.
While over 22,000 of the American weapons at highest risk of being stolen are legally required to be subject to American inspection, an American news outlet admitted in November that US officials have accounted for just 10% of them and have “been able to conduct just two in-person inspections of items requiring enhanced oversight at weapons depots where U.S. arms had been brought in from Poland.”
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