Friday, February 19, 2010

Flow of arms to/from Eastern and Southern Africa

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released a brief report dated December 2009 on the transfer of arms to/from eastern and southern Africa during the years 2004-2008 (PDF). Prepared by Pieter D. Wezeman, it provides a good overview of the suppliers and the degree of transparency in these transfers. Most weapons procured by governments or non-state groups in eastern and southern Africa originate outside the region. South Africa is the only country in the region that exports substantial volumes of arms. South Africa was also the largest importer of major conventional arms in eastern and southern Africa from 2004-2008. Sudan was the second largest importer and Eritrea the third largest during the same time period. Relatively small flows of arms have played a major role in armed violence in the region for many years. No single country was the dominant arms supplier. During 2004-2008, the largest suppliers of major conventional arms to the region in order of importance were Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, China and Sweden. All of the exports from Germany, the UK and Sweden went to South Africa. Russia was a major supplier to Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia. Most of the Chinese arms went to Namibia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Image: Creative commons licensed content by Flickr user Blyzz.

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