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Arms Trade Bulletin: August - October 2017

Bringing you the latest global arms trade news and updates from recent months, with a special focus on Africa.

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Arms Trade Treaty

UN’s Arms Trade Treaty ‘too weak to make a difference’ | 11 September 2017 | DW

Diplomats from over 100 countries met in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday to discuss why the United Nations’ landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT),which came into force three years ago, has so far failed to stop the flow of weapons to the world’s war zones. Celebrated as a paradigm shift in the regulation of the international arms trade, the ATT now looks like a disappointment, according to statements issued by NGOs instrumental in campaigning for it and then drawing it up.

Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA) un vent d’optimisme | 12 September 2017 | Amnesty International France

Retours sur le premier jour de la troisième conférence des Etats parties au Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA), qui se tient actuellement à Genève, et sur laquelle il semble souffler un vent d’optimisme.

Time to end the civilian suffering fuelled by irresponsible arms trading | 13 September 2017 | Amnesty International

This week diplomats meet in Geneva to discuss the progress of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the world’s first treaty regulating the international trade in conventional weapons. For people in countries like Yemen and Iraq where weapons are fuelling deadly conflicts, this meeting is nothing short of an emergency.

A Failing Report Card for the Arms Trade Treaty | 15 September 2017 | The Daily Signal

The third annual Conference of States Parties of the Arms Trade Treaty is being held this week in Geneva, Switzerland. As I pointed out on Thursday, many of the nations that are party to the treaty, which purports to require regulation of the conventional arms trade, aren’t even paying their bills.

What Happened to the Arms Trade Treaty? | 18 September 2017 | Foreign Policy in Focus

Four years ago, the U.S. and the UK signed a landmark treaty to restrict the sale of arms to rights abusers. So why are they still profiting off the atrocities in Yemen?

Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots | 20 August 2017 | The Guardian

Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons.

We can’t ban killer robots – it’s already too late | 22 August 2017 | Philip Ball | Opinion | The Guardian

One response to the call by experts in robotics and artificial intelligence for an ban on “killer robots” (“lethal autonomous weapons systems” or Laws in the language of international treaties) is to say: shouldn’t you have thought about that sooner?

Africa

Writ of Summons: Shell armed the Nigerian police force | 2 August 2017 | royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell itself took action to provide the police force with arms. In the period in which the setting up of OPAPCO and the expansion of Shell’s police force were under discussion SPDC’s security adviser Victor Oteri asked the regime for consent to import more than half a million dollars of arms.

Middle East trade a lifeline for South Africa’s Denel | 8 August 2017 | The National

In a break from the pattern of supplying raw materials and agriculture to the Middle East, South Africa is also pushing defence equipment, with some success.

Algeria operating Buk-M2E surface-to-air missiles| 16 August 2017 | DefenceWeb

The Algerian military has acquired Buk-M2E surface-to-air missile systems, which were seen during a recent exercise.

Experts draw up approved weapons, ammunition list for Ghana | 18 August 2017 | Graphic Online

Ghana’s weapons and ammunition experts are meeting in Ho in the Volta Region to discuss ways to approve a list of weapons and ammunition that will be allowed to enter or leave the country.

Après la Libye, le Soudan ferme ses frontières avec ses voisins | 8 September 2017 | Al Wihda

Après la décision de la Libye de fermer ses frontières, le Soudan ferme ses frontières terrestres avec le Soudan du Sud, le Tchad et la Libye. Le Soudan a annoncé, mercredi sa décision pour dit-il lutter contre la contrebande d’armes.

Customs seize 1,100 arms at Tin Can | 12 September 2017 | The Punch

The Nigeria Customs Service has seized a container conveying 1,100 rifles at the Tin Can Island Port. While disclosing the seizure to newsmen in Lagos on Monday, the Comptroller General of NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), stated that the rifles were discovered on September 6 by the operatives of the NCS intelligence unit.

Customs seize another arms-bearing container at Tin Can port | 20 September 2017 | The Punch

The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday uncovered another container suspected to contain yet another cache of arms imported from Turkey.

Amnesty exposes illicit US$46m South Sudan arms deal brokered under government’s nose | 25 September 2017 | Amnesty International

Research released by Amnesty International today reveals how a shell company in the heart of London’s West End acted as an intermediary in huge prospective arms deals to war-torn South Sudan and other countries, thanks to regulatory gaps which are making the UK a hotspot for companies involved in illicit arms transfers.

Official statement of the State Enterprise “Ukrinmash” | 25 September 2017 | Ukrinmash

Ukrinmash refutes the allegation as to transfer of arms and provision of any material-technical aid to South Sudan, including equipment, its maintenance and training.

Génocide rwandais: enquête contre BNP Paribas pour complicité de crime contre l’humanité | 25 September 2017 | SeneNews

Suite a une plainte déposée par des ONG, le parquet de Paris a annoncé ce lundi 25 septembre, ouvrir une enquête à l’encontre de la banque BNP Paribas, pour complicité de génocide et de crime contre l’humanité au Rwanda, révèle France 24.

Illegal firearms importers change lawyers, opt for plea bargain | 26 September 2017 | The Punch

Two out of the five men being prosecuted by the Federal Government for unlawful importation of 661 pump-action rifles into the country have indicated their intention to enter into plea bargain with the prosecution.

Turkey To Investigate Illegal Arms Import Into Nigeria | 26 September 2017 | ChannelsTV

Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hakan Cakil, has promised to launch an investigation to fish out those behind the illegal importation of firearms from Turkey to Nigeria.

Turkish envoy meets Customs CG, says arms not from Turkey | 27 September 2017 | The Punch

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), on Tuesday met with the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, over the recent seizures of pump-action rifles imported illegally into the country from Turkey.

South Sudan lauds Ukraine over denial of arm dealings | 28 September 2017 | Sudan Tribune

South Sudan government on Thursday welcomed a statement by the Ukrainian government, denying that its state service of export control did not permit any company involved in arms deal to export arms to any nation, including South Sudan.

More revelations emerge in Customs’ seizure of 1,580 arms | 28 September 2017 | The Punch

More revelations have continued to trail Great James Oil and Gas Limited, the firm linked with the illegal importation of 1,580 guns into Nigeria. On September 11, the men of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted a 20-foot container at the Tin Can Island Port with 1,100 pump-action rifles concealed in wash basins.

Customs sideline police in arms import probe | 28 September 2017 | The Punch

There are strong indications that the Nigeria Customs Service may have sidelined the police in its investigation into the series of illegal importation of arms into the country.

Reps summon customs, DSS chiefs over menace of arms | 28 September 2017 | The Guardian (Nigeria)

The House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali (rtd), to explain how to rid the country of the menace of small arms and light weapons in the polity.

Egypte: L’armée saisit 10 véhicules de contrebande d’armes via la frontière avec la Libye | 29 September 2017 | Maghreb emergent

L’armée égyptienne a déjoué une tentative de contrebande en saisissant 10 véhicules chargés d’armes, qui tentaient de franchir la frontière égyptienne depuis la Libye, a annoncé jeudi un porte-parole de l’armée.

Tchad: une étrange affaire de détournement d’immatriculations aéronautiques | 1 October 2017 | RFI

Au Tchad, la police a interpellé, ce week-end, plusieurs acteurs du secteur de l’aviation, dans le cadre d’une enquête sur des trafics présumés d’immatriculations tchadiennes. Des avions immatriculés au nom du Tchad et utilisés par des trafiquants d’Europe de l’est se seraient retrouvés en Syrie. Une situation que Ndjamena cherche à élucider.

Des avions tchadiens trafiquant des armes | 1 October 2017 | Al Wihda

Selon des informations révélées par la Lettre du continent, ce sont les services américains qui ont décelé l’anomalie et ont demandé des explications aux services tchadiens.

Tchad: le directeur de publication d’un hebdomadaire arrêté | 18 October 2017 | BeninWebTV

Juda Allahodoum, directeur de publication du journal « Le Visionnaire », a été arrêté au Tchad mardi 17 octobre 2017, suite à la parution d’un article consacré à une affaire de détournement présumé d’immatriculation d’un avion.

Americas

Ottawa calls for probe into apparent Saudi use of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against citizens | 28 July 2017 | Globe & Mail

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s department says she is “deeply concerned” that Saudi Arabia’s rulers appear to be deploying Canadian-made armoured vehicles in an escalating conflict with Saudi citizens.

Canada’s abysmal record as an arms dealer | 4 August 2017 | MacLean’s

Canadians were not overly surprised last week when video evidence emerged of Saudi Arabia allegedly using Canadian-made armoured vehicles against its own people. The news came and went with the usual proclamations from Ottawa: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was “deeply concerned,” promising an investigation and action if any “serious human rights violations” are found. Canadians seemed to say okay, and went on with their morning Timmies.

Saudi deal creates problems for feds | 11 August 2017 | Dan Leger | Opinions | The Herald

Here’s an idea. Let’s sell shiploads of heavy weapons to a repressive autocracy run by a single, stupendously rich family not accountable to anyone. What could possibly go wrong? Nevertheless, that’s what your Canadian government did, apparently thinking that powerful armoured vehicles could be sold to a regime like Saudi Arabia but not be used against internal enemies or religious minorities.

Five urgent questions in light of an investigation into Saudi use of Canadian arms | 15 August 2017 | Open Canada

Goaded by incontrovertible red flags and the heightened scrutiny of media and civil society, Global Affairs Canada has announced an investigation into recent reports of the use of Canadian-made military equipment to violently suppress protest in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras | 23 August 2017 | Insight Crime

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras’ arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to corruption.

Final Defendant Convicted Of Stealing And Selling U.S. Army Equipment From Fort Campbell | 1 September 2017 | Department of Justice

John Roberts, 27, of Clarksville, Tenn., was found guilty today by a federal jury of conspiracy to steal and sell U.S. Army property, 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith of the Middle District of Tennessee.

The Pentagon Is Spending Up To $2.2 Billion on Soviet-Style Arms for Syrian Rebels | 12 September 2017 | OCCRP

The Pentagon’s $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria | 12 September 2017 | Balkan Insight

The Pentagon has relied on an army of contractors and sub-contractors – from blue-chip military giants to firms linked to organized crime – to supply up to US$ 2.2 billion worth of Soviet-style arms and ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting a sprawling war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Pentagon Hires Scandal-hit Brokers for Syria Arms Buy-up | 15 September 2017 | Balkan Insight

The Pentagon’s battle against ISIS relies on an Eastern European arms supply-line operated, in part, by firms and executives linked to fraud, foreign bribery, Bulgarian organised crime and the death of a contractor.

Here’s Where Your Tax Dollars for ‘Defense’ Are Really Going | 10 October 2017 | The Nation

Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the US military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department’s already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to “support the troops.” If you’re already nodding in agreement, let me explain just where a huge chunk of the Pentagon budget—hundreds of billions of dollars—really goes. Keep in mind that it’s your money we’re talking about.

Asia

MKEK and Aselsan cooperate on 40mm Smart Ammunition | 1 August 2017 | The Firearm blog

IDEF 2017 occurred in May of this year, but we missed this important Turkish development when it comes to ammunition. MKEK, the Turkish state-run armament company, and privately owned Aselsan signed agreements at IDEF 2017 to cooperate on the design and manufacture of “Smart” 40x46mm Low Velocity for use in UBGLs or stand alone launchers employed by the Turkish Military.

Iran using ‘new routes’ to smuggle weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen | 2 August 2017 | The New Arab

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across waters in the Gulf to funnel arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen, Western and Iranian sources say.

Indonesia offers coffee, tea & palm oil in exchange for Russian fighter jets | 7 August 2017 | Russia Today

Indonesia says it will barter coffee, palm oil and other commodities for Russian fighter jets, calling US and European sanctions against Russia an opportunity to boost trade.

Why Did the UAE Purchase Weapons From North Korea? | 8 August 2017 | The Diplomat

On August 2, 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Foreign Affairs released an official statement condemning North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch into Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The UAE described North Korea’s actions as posing a “genuine threat to international security and stability,” and emphasized the importance of upholding international law as a bulwark against nuclear proliferation.

Israeli Arms Exports to South Sudan Are Lawful, State Tells High Court | 10 August 2017 | Haaretz

The state has taken the position before the High Court of Justice that there is no evidence any Israeli individual or entity has committed a criminal offense by exporting weapons to South Sudan.

Did Israeli Defense company carry out demonstration of drone strike against Armenia? | 13 August 2017 | Jerusalem Post

The Defense Ministry is checking reports that the Israeli firm Aeronautics Defense Systems had been asked by Azerbaijan to carry out a live demonstration of an armed unmanned aerial vehicle against an Armenian military position.

Europe’s Challenges Open the Market for Israel’s Arms Industry | 21 August 2017 | Canada Free Press

In the past few years, the European demand for arms has increased due to the significant security challenges that have developed throughout the continent. This trend has also resulted in a marked increase in Israeli defense exports to European countries, which is expected to continue in the years to come, especially to Eastern Europe. This development requires that Israel act cautiously—among other reasons—in order to avoid a direct diplomatic clash with Russia, which is the primary reason for the current European armament.

China has new tanks for arms export | 22 August 2017 | Next Big Future

China main tank and armored vehicle maker Norinco has shown several new armored vehicles for the export market.

Israeli suicide drone exports frozen after live demonstration complaint | 30 August 2017 | The Jerusalem Post

The Defense Ministry has suspended the export license of Israeli firm Aeronautics Defense Systems following an investigation into claims Azerbaijan asked it to carry to out a live demonstration of an armed unmanned aerial vehicle against an Armenian military position last month.

North Korea’s secretive small arms exports under spotlight in global survey | 13 September 2017 | The Guardian

North Korea has been singled out alongside Saudi Arabia and Iran as one of the world’s most secretive major exporters of small arms, including Kalashnikovs, rockets and machine guns, in a report by experts in Geneva.

Did Israel Make a Refugees-for-arms Deal With Uganda? | 14 September 2017 | Haaretz

A leading Ugandan newspaper made a splash this week with the front page headline: “Israel sends 1,400 refugees to Uganda”. The behind-the-scenes deal between Israel, Uganda and Rwanda has been exposed for some time in Israel, but Uganda officially continues to deny its existence. It’s therefore significant that Sunday Vision, a paper owned by the government, has publicized – and legitimized – the story.

High Court to Make Secret Ruling on Israeli Arms Sales to Myanmar | 27 September 2017 | Haaretz

Israel’s High Court is set to rule on Wednesday on a petition against weapons sales to Myanmar. The court decision will remain secret because the judges hearing the case – Yoram Danziger, Anat Baron and David Mintz – issued a gag order on it at the request of the state.

Israel’s Top Court Just Ruled About Arms Sales to Myanmar. But We’re Not Allowed to Tell You the Verdict | 27 September 2017 | Haaretz

Israel’s High Court ruled Wednesday on a petition against Israel’s weapons sales to Myanmar. However, the court decision must remain secret.

Pakistan, one of the main destinations for China’s arms exports | 9 October 2017 | Pakistan Today

Pakistan is one of the main destinations for China’s arms exports while the country is rising in the arms trade, defence experts said.

Arms Sales in the Middle East: Trends and Analytical Perspectives for U.S. Policy (pdf) | 17 October 2017 | FAS | Congressional Research Service

This report analyzes state-to-state arms sales in the Middle East with a particular focus on U.S. transfers, as authorized and reviewed by Congress. The information in this report, including sales data, is drawn from a number of official and unofficial open sources.

Bahrain hits military mart hard with possible US and Russian arms deals | 17 October 2017 | The New Arab

Bahrain announced a $3.8 billion with US military aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin on Tuesday, but it might also be close to striking a deal with another rival military power – Russia.

Europe

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva

350 diplomatic flights carry weapons for terrorists | 2 July 2017 | trud.bg

Anonymous Bulgaria Leaks Massive 10GB Of Data: “Silk Way Airlines Helps Terrorists” | 24 July 2017 | Activistpost

Leaked Documents Purport To Show How The U.S., Gulf Countries Ship Weapons To Terrorists Using Diplomatic Flight Cover | 31 August 2017 | Activistpost

At least 350 diplomatic Silk Way Airlines (an Azerbaijani state-run company) flights transported weapons for war conflicts across the world over the last 3 years. The state aircrafts of Azerbaijan carried on-board tens of tons of heavy weapons and ammunition headed to terrorists under the cover of diplomatic flights.

The CIA and the Pentagon have not Ended Their Support to Islamist/ Wahhabi Terror Groups in Syria | 6 August 2017 | Global Research

In an interview with BalkansPost, Marcus Papadopoulos, a journalist and a regular face and name in broadcast and print media, said “Saudi arms dealers are regularly in Belgrade signing arms deals with Serbian officials. So, it is not just America, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have the blood of Syrians on their hands but also countries like Serbia, Croatia and Azerbaijan.”

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights | 28 August 2017 | Zerohedge

A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.

Pentagon Falsifies Paperwork To Keep Syrian Rebels Armed With Quasi-Covert Program | 16 September 2017 | MintPress News

On July 19, the Trump administration announced that it would end the CIA’s covert program aimed at arming and training terrorist-linked “moderate rebels” in Syria, sparking hope among some Trump supporters that he was finally enacting the anti-interventionist rhetoric of his campaign.

WSJ: Pentagon offers plan to arm Ukraine | 2 August 2017 | Unian

The U.S. Pentagon and State Department have devised plans to supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry and are seeking White House approval, U.S. officials said, as Kyiv battles Russia-backed separatists and ties between Moscow and Washington fray, according to The Wall Street Journal.

BAE posts $733m profit weeks after Saudi arms sales review | 2 August 2017 | Middle East Eye

Britain’s largest defence firm has made $733m in six months, and expects further growth, in results posted weeks after surviving a High Court challenge to its multi-billion-dollar arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

A challenge to the lawfulness of export licences allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia has been rejected | 7 August 2017 | Lexology

In a recent high profile judicial review claim, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) challenged a decision of the Secretary of State for Trade. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Rights Watch (UK) and Oxfam all intervened. In its judgment, the Divisional Court emphasised judicial self-restraint, and confirmed that the courts must give suitable recognition to the institutional competence of those charged with complex evaluative decision-making.

EU funds firm supplying Israel with banned cluster weapons | 10 August 2017 | Electronic Intifada

The European Union is giving millions of dollars of “research” funding to a company that is helping Israel evade an international ban on cluster weapons.

UK criticised over sales of military equipment to Venezuela | 11 August 2017 | The Guardian

Government figures show military equipment was approved for sale from UK-based companies to Venezuela’s armed forces as recently as September last year, despite the Foreign Office listing the country as “of concern” regarding human rights.

Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 used by UK to boost weapon sales | 12 August 2017 | The Observer | The Guardian

The British government saw Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait as an “unparalleled opportunity” to sell arms to Gulf states, according to recently declassified secret documents.

Not all roads lead to Moscow: Belarusian arms industries between Russia and China | 14 August 2017 | Belarus Digest

The government–affiliated Belarusian daily Zvyazda recently announced that 30 percent of military equipment types presented at the 3 July military parade in Minsk had been produced or modernised domestically. Meanwhile, Belarus exported $1bn worth of arms last year.

The Real Danger of Sending U.S. Arms to Ukraine | 28 August 2017 | The National Interest

In 2015, after spending several months in the frontline zone I wrote that Ukraine desperately needs a “lousy peace” and not an arms race. Two years and several thousand deaths later, the idea of supplying Ukraine with U.S. arms has resurfaced.

Bulgaria Acts to Take Over Troubled Arms Business | 29 August 2017 | Balkan Insight

Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry has taken action to gain control over the Dunarit arms factory, which risks losing its licence to trade over various court battles.

Russia & Turkey: The Arms Deal that Signals the Age of Pragmatism | 29 August 2017 | Eurasianet

If any single arms deal can capture the shifting nature of Russian cooperation in the post-Cold War era, it is the pending sale of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey that now looks increasingly likely to happen.

German pilot project tracks arms exports | 30 August 2017 | DW

Where do German guns sold all over the world end up? The government is now checking that arms exports stay where they’re supposed to – but only if the country that bought them agrees. Critics ask: what’s the point?

Heckler & Koch quietly becomes world’s most ethical gun-maker | 31 August 2017 | DW

Germany’s most notorious gun manufacturer, Heckler & Koch, has vowed never again to sell weapons to non-NATO and EU countries – though it has not announced the strategy. It is the first arms firm ever to do this.

The revolving door between the government and the arms trade | 31 August 2017 | Morning Star

British government ministers are scheduled to give keynote speeches to international arms dealers at DSEI — the world’s biggest arms fair — in London’s Docklands this September. The participation of high-ranking Conservative ministers once again highlights the thin line between government departments and the arms industry.

Vassilev Condemns Bulgaria Move to Buy Arms Producer | 4 September 2017 | Balkan Insight

Exiled Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vassilev, whose extradition from Serbia is sought by the authorities in Sofia, told BIRN that moves to nationalize the arms firm Dunarit – which has been linked to his former business empire – would be a crime.

German Concerns Spark Pentagon Reroute of Syria-Bound Arms | 12 September 2017 | Balkan Insight

The Pentagon has rerouted its weapons supply-line to Syria after officials in Berlin became concerned at the surge in arms being transferred through US bases in Germany.

Heikle Fracht aus Ramstein | 12 September 2017 | Süddeutsche Zeitung

Das US-Militär hat offenbar zeitweise über seinen Stützpunkt im rheinland-pfälzischen Ramstein Waffen und Munition aus Osteuropa an syrische Rebellen geliefert. Da entsprechende Genehmigungen der Bundesregierung fehlten, haben die Amerikaner womöglich deutsches Recht gebrochen. Das haben monatelange Recherchen der und der Journalistennetzwerke Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) und Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) ergeben.

‘New Ethics’: German Firm to End Arms Sales to Warzones, ‘Problem’ Countries | 12 September 2017 | Sputnik News

German arms producer Heckler & Koch has promised to stop sales to warzones and countries that violate corruption and democracy standards. Veteran anti-arms-trade campaigner Jurgen Grasslin told Radio Sputnik that because exported arms often end up in the hands of terrorists, arms sales should be banned altogether.

US sent weapons to Syria through Ramstein military base | 13 September 2017 | DW

Washington’s air base in southwest Germany was used for a time to store and send weapons to Syrian rebels, according to a German news daily. If the report proves true, the US could have violated German law.

Staatsanwaltschaft prüft Waffenlieferungen an syrische Rebellen | 14 September 2017 | RPR1

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Zweibrücken lässt prüfen, ob die Amerikaner vom US-Militär-Stützpunkt Ramstein aus Waffen an syrische Rebellen geliefert haben. Sie hat die Wirtschaftsabteilung der Staatsanwaltschaft Kaiserslautern beauftragt, dem nachzugehen.

Germany Probes BIRN’s US Weapons Transfer Revelations | 15 September 2017 | Balkan Insight

A BIRN investigation has sparked an official probe into whether the Pentagon broke the law by sending weapons to Syrian rebels through its German airbases.

Why MEPs are calling for stricter EU arms export controls | 19 September 2017 | European Parliament

Weapons made in EU are widely exported and some to countries that engage in conflicts which threaten Europe’s own security. MEPs call on EU states to upgrade their rules on arms exports.

Millionen Schuss Munition für Kalaschnikows | 20 September 2017 | Süddeutsche Zeitung

Unter der Ortsmarke Picatinny Arsenal vermeldete die US-Armee am 6. September, dass sie Verträge im Wert von bis zu insgesamt 500 Millionen Dollar an vier Rüstungsfirmen vergeben habe, um Munition und Mörser-Systeme zu beschaffen, die nicht zur Standardausrüstung der US-Armee gehören. Gemeint waren damit, wie in den meisten Fällen, Projektile und Waffen sowjetischer Bauart. Das Picatinny Arsenal, ein Stützpunkt im Bundesstaat New Jersey, diente einst zur Herstellung von Munition, heute wird dort vor allem geforscht und entwickelt – und Beschaffungsvorhaben abgewickelt.

Emco Arms Manufacturer in a Feud with the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy | 20 September 2017 | EUScoop

A series of protests were conducted after a controversial decision made by the Ministry of Economy concerning the “Emco” arms and ammunition manufacturer. The ministry took the licensing of the firm which led to the termination of several contracts Emco had, including the contract with the government-owned company Kintex.

Ukraine Network Moves Embargoed European Arms to Africa and the Middle East | 25 September 2017 | OCCRP

In 2015 and 2016, Ukrinmash, a Ukrainian state arms exporter, signed deals with customers in Uganda and Burundi to sell 59 amphibious armored patrol vehicles. On the surface, the deals are typical of Ukraine’s arms trade with Africa, where instability and fears that weapons may migrate into conflict zones mean many countries have trouble buying from Western manufacturers.

Bulgarian Minister of Economy Suggests Reforms In Arms Industry Law | 27 September 2017 | EUScoop

The Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov is offering a reform in Bulgarian law that would make it possible for the state to take away licenses to arms manufacturers when there are storage violations. The current law is to restrict the shipments of such cases.

Azerbaijan video raises concerns over arms sales | 27 September 2017 | Radio Praha

The newspaper Hospodářské noviny reported this week that Czech-made military hardware – specifically a DANA artillery piece and an RM-70 rocket launcher– had been spotted in a promotional video produced by the army in Azerbaijan. However, the Czech Republic is one of several EU states that refuses to sell arms to the South Caucasus state in light of tensions between it and neighbouring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Croatian Island Airport Becomes Pentagon Hub | 3 October 2017 | Balkan Insight

A small airport on a Croatian island has become an important but unofficial logistical base for Pentagon shipments to the Middle East, likely including arms for Syrian rebels.

Merchants of death, arbiters of peace: campaigners challenge the Swiss arms paradox | 3 October 2017 | EqualTimes

The Swiss army knife is not the only weapon sold by Switzerland. The oldest neutral country in the world, an international peace broker famous for exporting cheeses, chocolates and iconic pocket knives, quietly sells arms on the global market.

Le MR sur la sellette après de nouvelles exportations d’armes à l’Arabie Saoudite | 19 October 2017 | L’Avenir

Le Mouvement réformateur s’est retrouvé jeudi au cœur des critiques à la Chambre après l’autorisation par le gouvernement wallon de 25 nouveaux contrats d’exportation d’armes vers l’Arabie Saoudite, en dépit d’une résolution du parlement fédéral, relayée par le ministre des Affaires étrangères Didier Reynders, invitant à stopper l’exportation d’armes vers la monarchie pétrolière.