Sunday, June 26, 2005

G8 weapons sales

Liam McDougall, in the 26 June 2005 Sunday Herald, refers to a study by the Toronto-based G8 Research Group.

The study says: “Debt cancellation only amounts to one-sixth of Africa’s $300 billion external debt. The current deal only covers 18 African states, many of which are comparatively small and none of which can be described as economic engines on the continent.”

The G8 are accused of fuelling wars in the continent.

The UK, US, Russia and France are accused of supplying small arms and light aircraft to such areas as the Sudan.

On 13th May 2005 military forces in Uzbekistan fired on protestors in the town of Andijan, where hundreds of people may have been killed. Accordingto the UK's Times newspaper, British military vehicles were used

Trevor Royle, in the 26 June 2005 Sunday herald, wrote about how the world's richest countries arm the poorest.

Over the past four years, Britain has sold more than £1 billion worth of arms to Africa.

In 2003, the G8 countries exported arms worth £6.6bn to the developing world.

: Conventional arms sales worth $3.2bn. This includes sales to Burma and Sudan

Germany: Sales worth $1.8bn.

Italy: Sales worth $2.7bn to customers including Algeria, Colombia, Eritrea, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sierra Leone. The police in Brazil report that the most frequently confiscated sidearm is the Italian-made Beretta, which accounts for 8% of the world’s gun fatalities.

Russia: Sales worth $2.62bn. Customers include Sudan.

UK: Sales worth $4.3bn. 42 BAe Hawk strike aircraft were sold to India in 2002 at the time that Tony Blair 'was trying to avert a war between India and Pakistan'.

US: The world’s leading arms supplier with sales of $151.9bn. Recent customers have included Colombia, Israel, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. Four US companies are the world’s leading arms manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

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