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Oxfam: The AK-47: the world's favourite killing machine

June 26, 2006

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A second arms control report from Oxfam, focusing on the Kalashnikov assault rifle, the most widespread military weapon in the world, with an estimated 50-70 million spread across the world’s five continents. They are used daily by soldiers, fighters, and gang members to inflict untold suffering in many countries. The spread of these weapons continues largely unchecked by governments, threatening the lives and safety of millions as weapons fall into irresponsible hands. More than ever, the Kalashnikov rifle is the weapon of choice for many armies, militias, armed gangs, law enforcement officials, rebels, and other private actors who abuse fundamental human rights and operate beyond the international humanitarian law parameters laid down by the Geneva Conventions and other relevant international law. Oxfam argues that following the UN Review Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in mid-2006, governments should agree at the UN General Assembly in October 2006 to negotiate a new global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate international transfers of all conventional arms, including military assault rifles.

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