In an open letter to the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Conflict Awareness Project’s (CAP) executive director Kathi Lynn Austin called today for a renewed inquiry into an international arms trafficking network alleged to have operated within the country, as well as the role of individuals within the Mauritian government who may have obstructed the investigation. The illicit operation is said to have targeted conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Syria.
The government of Mauritius is reputed to be one of Africa’s least corrupt nations. Yet despite calls from an international investigative group and concerned citizens of Mauritius, as well as official pledges to address the matter, an investigation of a transnational arms trafficking operation with potential links to government officials has been stymied.
“Without a proper inquiry,” says Kathi Lynn Austin, “an opportunity is missed to thwart black market traffickers who not only threaten rule of law in Mauritius but the peace and security of the global community.”
CAP’s 2012 report “Viktor Bout’s Gunrunning Successors: A Lethal Game of Catch Me if You Can,” exposed an illicit arms trafficking operation, lead by two Russian nationals, that was launching in Mauritius. The report, which prompted multiple official investigations in Mauritius, details a global operation also involving entities and individuals in the United States, United Kingdom, Finland, South Africa, Australia, United Arab Emirates, and Iran.