South Africa Makes Billions In foreign Arms Sales

The arms industry in South Africa has seen the sale of arms to other countries soar to R2.7 billion last year, including to countries in conflict.

The National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) has said in a report – tabled in Parliament recently – that South Africa sold arms to countries including Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nigeria and Burundi.

Burundi is in the midst of civil war after President Pierre Nkurunziza extended his term by another five years.

This has sparked civil unrest in the country, leading to what human rights groups call a clampdown on the opposition.

South Africa sold armoured combat vehicles worth R44 million to Burundi last year.

President Jacob Zuma told Parliament three weeks ago that he had signed a military treaty with Nigeria in its battle with insurgent Islamic group Boko Haram.

Read also: SA selling arms to conflict regions – report

To Nigeria, South Africa sold armoured combat vehicles worth R64.8m, large-calibre artillery for R1.28m, bombs for R9.7m and ammunition for R31.8m.

Boko Haram has killed hundreds of Nigerians in the last few years and kidnapped villagers, notably more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014.

On his visit to Nigeria three weeks ago, Zuma signed a number of treaties on matters including military co-operation. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to clamp down on the Islamist group.

In East Africa, South Africa has aided another country in trouble with Islamists

The al-Shabaab group has been crossing the border from Somalia in a range of attacks on Kenya for its involvement in AU missions to quell the group in Somalia.

South Africa sold armoured combat vehicles worth R13.3m and ammunition for R1.6m to Kenya.

The Islamic group has conducted a number of raids in Kenya in the last few years, leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

SA has also supplied military equipment to the UN mission in the war-torn Central African Republic. The country has been engulfed in conflict since the ousting of Francois Bozize three years ago.

In the mission, SA has given the UN peacekeeping operation armoured combat vehicles.

In the Middle East, the Iraqi government has been fighting Islamist rebels since the end of the Saddam Hussein reign in the early 2000s. Last year, South Africa sold combat vehicles valued at R160.9m to Iraq and missile launchers for R44.8m.

Azerbaijan has also been involved in cross-border conflict with neighbouring Amersnia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict has been sporadic since 1994.

SA has sold armoured combat vehicles for R26.6m, heavy weapons for R16.1m and warning equipment for R37.2m to Azerbaijan.


Source: IOL


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