Arms Trade Bulletin November – December 2020


On 4 November 2020 the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) launched a military offensive against the Tigray regional government. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dubbed it a “law enforcement operation” reportedly “to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order”. The military intervention by the ENDF was a retaliation for an alleged surprise attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in the early morning of November 4, against the ENDF’s Northern Command bases in Tigray. The federal government declared a six-month state of emergency in Tigray, blocking all internet, mobile and landline communications, claiming “illegal and violent activities” were threatening the country’s sovereignty.

Internal Repression and Possible War Crimes

Meanwhile the Ethiopian News Agency announced that the House of People’s Representatives had lifted the immunity of 39 members of the House, including the President of Tigray Regional State. On 7 November police arrested two journalists. One of the editors of the Addis Standard was accused of “attempts to dismantle the constitution through violence,” and “outrage against the constitution”, while journalist Bekalu Alamirew of online Awlo Media was accused of “interviewing Tigray region officials, producing reports undermining the government, producing articles in order to defame the government and undermine its credibility in collaboration with foreign forces, producing articles photographs aimed at inciting inter-communal violence, and inciting a civil war”. Several days later the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported the arrest of 4 more journalists.

In the days that followed calls for dialogue were dismissed by the Prime Minister. Air strikes continued to hit Tigray. Reports of possible war crimes emerged from the region. One of which took place in Mai Kadra. Two alternative accounts have been presented for the Mai Kadra massacre. One blamed a local militia linked to the TPLF, others blame Amhara militia with assistance from the ENDF. The Ethiopian army and the regional Amhara “Fano” militia have allegedly killed civilians and looted the hospital, banks, businesses, supermarkets and private houses while reportedly taking control of Humera. Tens of thousands Tigrayans fled to Sudan. The Ethiopian army chief of staff alleged that the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), who is Tigrayan and a member of the TPLF, had attempted to obtain weapons for the TPLF. This strongly denied by the WHO Director-General.

An internal U.N. security report seen by Reuters alleged that Ethiopian police visited a World Food Programme office in Amhara region to request a list of ethnic Tigrayan staff. Ethnic profiling of Tigrayans seems to have begun before the recent conflict. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said it was “gravely concerned” at reports of ethnic profiling of Tigrayans, “most notably manifested in forced leave from work and in stopping people from travelling overseas including on work missions, for medical treatment or studies”. According to William Davison, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, “the ethnic profiling demonstrates that despite the government’s stated intention to target only the TPLF leadership, this conflict is also having a much broader negative impact on Tigrayans outside of Tigray”.

The Tigrayan regional government accused Eritrea of attacking Tigray’s northern border. This was strongly denied by both the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments. But when Hitsats Refugee Camp was captured by troops fighting for the Ethiopian government on 21 November, witnesses claimed that the armed men who entered the camp were Eritrean. The New York Times was told by aid workers that the Eritrean soldiers looted aid materials and vehicles, and burnt crops. Meanwhile multiple witnesses in Humera had told AFP that during the battle for Humera they witnessed mortar bombs coming from the direction of Eritrea. In December the U.S. government cited satellite images, intercepted communications and anecdotal reports from Tigray region as evidence of Eritrean involvement.

“There Will Be No Mercy”

On 22 November the Ethiopian forces had reached Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. Earlier the ENDF warned Mekelle’s 500,000 residents that the army would “encircle” the city and attack it with artillery fire. “There will be no mercy,” a spokesman reportedly said. On 28 November PM Abiy Ahmed announced the fall of Mekelle.

On 8 December the Ethiopian government admitted that federal troops had fired at and detained United Nations workers, proclaiming it did not need a “baby-sitter”. In Geneva U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet reported that her office had received substantiated reports of human rights violations: “We have corroborated information of gross human rights violations and abuses – including indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, looting, abductions and sexual violence against women and girls. There are reports of forced recruitment of Tigrayan youth to fight against their own communities”.

Meanwhile the Tigray regional state interim administration, installed on 7 November by the House of Federation of Ethiopia, cautioned residents of Mekelle to hand over their firearms to federal forces until December 15. It was claimed that there would be a door-to-door search and whoever was found with firearms would be held accountable. Eritrean troops in Mariam Dengelat reportedly killed 37 civilians. Ethiopian ENDF soldiers reportedly shot at unarmed civilians, and looting by Amhara militia was reported.

The UNHCR has reported the displacement of millions. Tension along the Sudan-Ethiopia border has risen due to clashes between Sudanese and Ethiopian forces.


Ethiopia is a federation of regional ethnic states, and constitutionally large autonomy is granted to the regions. Until 2018 all regional governments were linked directly or indirectly to the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), an alliance of four regional parties [the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) and the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP)], which used to govern Ethiopia. The TPLF was the dominant force until being displaced by an alliance of the two largest Ethiopian ethnicities, the Oromo and the Amhara.

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister in April 2018 Abiy Ahmed had begun to accuse the TPLF of trying to destabilise the country. In the media the TPLF were scapegoated for all the wrongs in the country. Which led to complaints from Tigrayans that they are persecuted in a crackdown on corruption and past abuses. “It has become fashionable to blame TPLF for everything that goes wrong in the country,” said a TPLF spokesperson. In November 2019 three of the four regional parties under direction of Abiy, with the exception of the TPLF, merged into a single national party – the Prosperity Party. The 2020 elections were postponed by the Ethiopian government, due to covid-19. The TPLF saw this as a means for the PM to hold on to power, and declared to hold elections anyway. The Ethiopian government ruled the Tigray government was unlawful and in return Tigray said it no longer recognised Abiy’s administration.

According to the United Nations Comtrade database the major exporters of armaments to Ethiopia in the last decade have been Slovakia, Israel, India, Sudan and Russia.

Exports arms and ammunition to Ethiopia 2010-2019


Value (usd)



3.9 million

Various munitions


4.8 million

Civilian firearms, various munitions


22.4 million

Various munitions


8.4 million

Armoured vehicles, various munitions


4.5 million

Military weapons, various munitions

Source: Comtrade HS 87.10 & HS 93

The United Nations Register of Conventional Arms adds Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine to that list. In August 2020 trade publication Janes published that Turkish armoured vehicles worth USD20.7 million had been offloaded in Djibouti with likely end destination Ethiopia.

United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, exports to Ethiopia 2010-2019





2010 Russia Attack Helicopter


2012 Ukraine Main battle tank (T-72)


2012 Bulgaria Large calibre artillery system (122mm howitzer)


2012 Czech Rep. Large calibre artillery system


2013 Bulgaria Combat aircraft (MiG-23)


2013 Hungary Attack Helicopter (Mi-24)


2019 Czech Rep. Small arms


Peter Danssaert

Further Reading

The secret war in Tigray, Ethiopia Insight, 23 December 2020.

Did Ethiopia’s attack on Tigray violate international laws?, The Conversation, 9 December 2020.

Instant Non-international Armed Conflict? Classifying the situation in Northern Ethiopia under IHL, Armed Groups and International Law, 9 December 2020.

Five reasons why Ethiopia ended up at war, Ethiopia Insight, 1 December 2020.

Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis: Escalating Violence and Mass Displacement Threaten Ethiopian and Regional Security, Just Security, 25 November 2020.

Teflon TPLF, Ethiopia Insight, 12 December 2019.

The Republic of Tigray?, Ethiopia Insight, 28 September 2019.

Is Tigray really a drop in the bucket for Abiy’s administration?, Ethiopia Insight, 17 January 2019.


As Illicit Shipping Becomes More Prevalent, How Banks Can Best Respond | 31 December 2020 | Hellenic Shipping News

The maritime sanction compliance advisories published by the United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts for North Korea, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in May 2020 and the UKs Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in July 2020, have all added to the growing burden on vessel screening by financial institutions.

2020: A year in conflict | 30 December 2020 | al Jazeera

Turkey led the world in innovative war tactics this year when it came to the use of armed drones. Drones have been used for assassination and ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) for decades, but 2020 marked the first time that armed drones were used in operational conflicts between two clearly defined sides.

Welcome to Assuring our Common Future, a handbook for parliamentarians | December 2020 | UN Secretary-General | DisarmamentHandbook

This handbook focuses on parliamentary action to implement the disarmament agenda put forward by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his 2018 report entitled Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament. This agenda includes a set of goals and practical measures across the entire range of disarmament issues, including weapons of mass destruction, outer space, conventional weapons and future weapon technologies. The handbook provides additional background to these disarmament issues, makes connections between disarmament and sustainable development including climate protection, provides examples of effective policies and parliamentary action, and offers recommendations for further parliamentary action. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the handbook also includes a focus on disarmament and pandemics.

Global arms sales top $360bn as US and China dominate | 7 December 2020 | The Independent

Dominated by America and China, the global arms industry recorded a nearly nine per cent jump in sales in 2019 from the previous year, according to a study released Monday.

Handbook to Profile Small Arms Ammunition in Armed Violence Settings | 7 December 2020 | UNIDIR

Focusing on ammunition flows and misuse can help reduce armed violence. There are several potential advantages to focusing on ammunition: unlike firearms, ammunition must be replenished once used and restricting its flow can therefore ‘starve firearms of oxygen’. Also, ammunition supply-chains tend to be shorter from transfer to use, increasing the scope for domestic policy to have an immediate effect reducing armed violence in urban environments. In short, improved research into ammunition flows and the dynamics enabling lethal outcomes can inform policy responses with potential to reduce firearms-related violence in armed violence settings.

2020 Virtual Year-End Review of Import/Export Developments | 24 November 2020 | BakerMcKenzie

Welcome to our first Virtual Year-End Review of Import/Export Developments Conference, a virtual offering for all our clients and friends worldwide. Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major global legislative, judicial and administrative activities and trends in export controls, trade sanctions, customs compliance, and import requirements in nine one-hour sessions which took place from 17 to 19 November 2020. Below you will find the recordings and topics discussed in each of the sessions.

Implementing the Convention on Cluster Munitions | 24 November 2020 | HRW

Cluster Munitions: Condemn New Use, Production | 25 November 2020 | HRW

More than one-quarter of the states parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions have adopted dedicated national implementation legislation, but much work remains to be done in this area. Article 9 obliges states parties to implement the convention domestically through all appropriate legal, administrative, and other measures. Legislation is the most powerful form of implementation because it is binding and more difficult to change than administrative measures. Strong laws also help bolster the norm against cluster munitions.

The paradox of precision: nonstate actors and precision-guided weapons | 17 November 2020 | War on the Rocks

On Feb. 16, 2016, the secretary general of Lebanese Hizballah, Hassan Nasrallah, declared that “a missile on these ammonia plants [in Haifa] is equal to an atomic bomb.” This implicit threat to attack Israeli chemical plants with precision munitions demonstrates the paradox of precision: Weapons that allow traditional militaries to reduce collateral damage can be used by nonstate actors to target critical infrastructure and threaten civilians.

The Arms Trade Treaty: Measures to Prevent, Detect, Address and Eradicate the Diversion of Conventional Arms | 30 October 2020 | UNIDIR

This Issue Brief is intended to support the efforts of ATT States Parties to implement provisions to prevent, detect, address, and eradicate diversion in conventional arms transfers. It provides information and guidance on systemic and practical measures to prevent diversion at every stage in the transfer chain. It presents a potential analytical framework for States to determine the direct and indirect impact of applying these measures to achieve the object and purpose of the Treaty. This paper is the second in a series of issue briefs released as part of a joint research project by UNIDIR, Conflict Armament Research, Small Arms Survey and Stimson Center. The objective of the research is to enhance knowledge and facilitate dialogue among States to strengthen shared understanding on the impact of the ATT in addressing risks of diversion, and to identify avenues to further promote effective policies and practices under the Treaty.


Abuses against Kurdish women in Afrin under Turkish Parliament radar | 31 December 2020 | Arab News

Tulay Hatimogullari, a lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, filed a parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday, destined to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, over the allegations that hundreds of Kurdish women and girls have been kidnapped in northern Syria by Turkish-backed militias and taken to Libya to be sold as sex slaves.

Evidence of widespread atrocities emerges following Karabakh war | 9 December 2020 | Eurasianet

A steady stream of videos depicting shocking atrocities by Azerbaijani soldiers against Armenian civilians and prisoners of war has emerged on social media.

Des crimes contre l’humanité au Yémen: la France complice? | 8 December 2020 | Action Sécurité Ethique Républicaines (ASER)

Le rapport montre comment les pays de la coalition dirigée par l’Arabie Saoudite et les Émirats Arabes Unis – comprenant également l’Égypte dont le Président Al Sissi a été reçu à Paris – n’a cessé de cibler les civils et les biens à caractère civils depuis mars 2015 malgré les appels répétés du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies, des rapports de leurs experts ainsi que de nombreuses ONG et parlementaires à travers le monde. Ce rapport justifie notre qualification de crimes contre l’humanité dans cette guerre et pose la question de la complicité du gouvernement français par ses ventes d’armes.

Yemen: Unchecked violations ‘may amount to war crimes’, Security Council hears | 3 December 2020 | UN News

UN experts called on the Security Council on Thursday, along with the international community at large, to put an end to the “surreal and absurd dimension” of human rights violations engulfing war-torn Yemen, where abuses continue unchecked.

Domestic Implementation of International Humanitarian Law Prohibiting Sexual Violence : A Checklist for States and The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement | 2 December 2020 | ICRC | ReliefWeb

International humanitarian law (IHL) prohibits all forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict, whether international (IAC) or non-international (NIAC). Serious violations of IHL, including acts of sexual violence, constitute war crimes. To end impunity, it is important that states can investigate and prosecute serious violations of IHL, including acts of sexual violence, under domestic law.

The Human Cost Of Incendiary Weapons: Why Stronger International Laws Are Needed | 26 November 2020 | The Organization for World Peace

A recent report by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic has revealed the horrific human costs associated with the use of incendiary weapons on civilian populations. Designed to produce fire and heat via chemical reactions with flammable substances, incendiary weapons are widely used across major conflict zones, including in Afghanistan and Syria, causing immediate and long-term physical, psychological and socioeconomic harm to victims.

At Daggers Drawn: International Legal Issues Surrounding the Conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh | 17 November 2020 | EJIL:Talk!

On 10 November, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Statement with the Russian Federation that fundamentally changes the scope of the conflict concerning Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories as well the status of the so-called “Republic of Artsakh” that had declared independence in early 1992. Even if it remains to be seen whether the Russian-brokered tripartite agreement will establish a framework for a definite settlement of the decade-long dispute on the status and legal regime of the Karabakh Armenians, it is designed to reshape the territorial and political realities in the South Caucasus and bring – at a minimum – a lasting cease fire.

Human Shields and Proportionality: How Legal Experts Defended War Crimes in Sri Lanka | 12 November 2020 | Just Security

The law of war allows, or at least tolerates, the killing of civilians not directly participating in an armed conflict, but the killing must not be “excessive” in relation to the “concrete and direct” military advantage that the belligerent expects to gain from the attack. This rule, known as the principle of proportionality, is designed to ensure that the ends of a military operation justify the means of the operation by weighing the anticipated military advantage against the civilian harm.

Incendiary Weapons: Human Cost Demands Stronger Law | 9 November 2020 | HRW

The horrific burns and life-long suffering caused by incendiary weapons demand that governments urgently revise existing treaty standards, Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic said in a report jointly published today.

Public Statement by Chair of Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict | 6 November 2020 | UN Security Council | Reliefweb

The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, in connection with the examination of the sixth report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Sudan (document S/2020/614), agreed to convey the following messages through a public statement by the Chair of the Working Group…

UAE-backed separatists violate human rights on Yemeni island of Socotra, European NGO says | 6 November 2020 | Daily Sabah

A human rights organization accused separatist forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen of committing human rights violations in the Socotra Archipelago.

U.S. provides training to prevent atrocities | 3 November 2020 | U.S. Embassy in Georgia

The United States is highlighting its commitment to prevent, mitigate and respond to atrocities globally. “When we say ‘Never again,’ it must mean more than words,” said Denise Natali, assistant secretary of state for Conflict and Stabilization Operations at a September 16 event hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace. “It must mean taking clear and timely action.”

How Focusing on Non-State Actors Can Change the IHL Narrative | 3 November 2020 | Opinio Juris

The role that non-State actors (NSAs) play in relation to international humanitarian law (IHL) is much larger than traditionally recognized. They perform various functions, interacting with States and among themselves, in many settings and with different degress of (in)formality. This reveals that IHL is not the exclusive province of States. Accordingly, placing focus on these dynamics is indispensable to properly address current and future challenges faced by IHL.

Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – November 2020 | 2 November 2020 | Watchlist | Reliefweb

Anti-balaka local defense militias, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and the former Séléka coalition are each listed in the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2020 annual report S/2020/525 on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use, killing and maiming, and rape and other forms of sexual violence.

U.N. says Nagorno-Karabakh attacks could be war crimes | 2 November 2020 | Reuters

Artillery strikes on civilians in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could amount to war crimes, the U.N. human rights chief said on Monday, reiterating a call for Azerbaijan and Armenia to halt attacks on towns, schools and hospitals in the mountain enclave.


Extradition of Dutch war criminal Guus Kouwenhoven back on the cards | 24 December 2020 | Daily Maverick

Dutch war criminal Guus Kouwenhoven’s bid to evade justice throws up legal puzzles | 1 December 2020 | Daily Maverick

Lengthy legal processes prevent ‘undesirable’ Dutch arms dealer Guus Kouwenhoven from being kicked out of South Africa | 13 November 2020 | Daily Maverick

In February 2020 the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court effectively discharged Guus Kouwenhoven from a legal process that meant he would not be extradited from South Africa to the Netherlands because crimes he was convicted of there were not committed in that country. The State has now successfully appealed this, meaning Kouwenhoven still faces extradition.

Warum die Bundesmarine den Kampf gegen Waffenschmuggel nach Libyen verloren hat | 18 December 2020 | HeiseOnline

Die deutsche Fregatte “Hamburg” wird an diesem Sonntag von ihrem Einsatz im Mittelmeer zur Kontrolle des UN-Waffenembargos nach Wilhelmshaven zurückkehren. Während Kommandant Jan Fitschen den Einsatz generell positiv bewertete, mehren sich die kritischen Stimmen: Der Schmuggel von Waffen und Treibstoff zur Unterstützung der Konfliktparteien in Libyen konnte seit Beginn des dortigen Bürgerkriegs im Jahre 2011 nicht unterbunden werden.

Somalia’s opposition urges Turkey not to send arms to police unit | 16 December 2020 | Nasdaq

Somalia’s opposition says it has written to Turkey urging it not to send a planned shipment of weapons to a special police unit that they fear incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed could use to “hijack” forthcoming elections.

Nigeria seeks defence technology transfer from Belarus | 11 December 2020 | The Guardian (Nigeria)

The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, has called for further defence cooperation with the Republic of Belarus in the area of possible transfer of defence technology.

Anti-tank missile in Libya looks like Iran-produced weapon | 9 December 2020 | DefenceWeb

A United Nations analysis of photos of four anti-tank guided missiles in Libya found that one “had characteristics consistent with the Iranian-produced Dehlavieh” missile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reported to the Security Council.

Aero Vodochody helping Nigerian Air Force reactivate L-39 jets | 7 December 2020 | DefenceWeb

Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody is helping the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) return a number of L-39ZA jets to service, with two refurbished aircraft handed over on 4 November, while three L-39ZAs undergo maintenance in the Czech Republic.

Nigerian Air Force receives another Mi-171 helicopter | 3 December 2020 | DefenceWeb

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of a second Mi-171E helicopter, with the aircraft arriving aboard an Il-76 transport on 2 December.

Nigerian Air Force confirms Super Tucano delivery on schedule | 2 December 2020 | DefenceWeb

Six of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft on order for the Nigerian Air Force have been manufactured and training is underway in the United States ahead of delivery next year.

Paramount’s Marauder and Matador vehicles battle proven in Azerbaijan | 2 December 2020 | DefenceWeb

Matador and Marauder vehicles in service with Azerbaijan have been battle proven in the conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Ces armes russes qui font de l’Algérie une puissance militaire régionale | 1 December 2020 | Sputnik News

Ces quinze dernières années, l’armée algérienne a multiplié les acquisitions militaires russes en y consacrant en moyenne un budget de 2,3 milliards d’euros par an. Avions, missiles, blindés, sous-marins… la qualité et la modernité de ces équipements font aujourd’hui de l’Algérie une puissance régionale dotée d’une force de frappe considérable.

Trafic d’armes vers la Libye. De forts soupçons sur le porte-conteneurs turc Roseline A | 29 November 2020 | Bruxelles2

La fouille du porte-conteneurs turc arraisonné par l’équipe de visite de la frégate allemande Hamburg il y a une semaine n’a pas eu lieu tout à fait au hasard. Les cris d’orfraie poussés par Ankara interpellent.

Le Maroc se lance dans la fabrication d’armes en s’appuyant sur l’expertise militaire des États-Unis | 26 November 2020 | IlBoursa

Le maroc entre dans l’ère de l’industrialisation militaire | 22 November 2020 | le360

Le Maroc a, depuis quelques années, commencé à produire localement plusieurs sortes d’armes pour essayer de réduire les dépenses d’importation du matériel militaire. Le Royaume a ainsi signé divers accords de transfert de technologie avec plusieurs pays, dont les Etats-Unis.

Le Sénégal négocie des missiles sol-air Mistral | 14 November 2020 | Seneweb

L’armée sénégalaise négocie avec le missilier MBDA (missiles Mistral et batterie côtière équipée d’Exocet) pour l’acquisition de missiles sol-air de type Mistral.

Nigerian Air Force getting Wing Loong, CH-3 and CH-4 UAVs | 12 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has revealed which models of armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) it will soon be receiving from China. It will receive eight Wing Loong II, CH-4 and CH-3 aircraft.

Can our police be trusted with their weapons? | 12 November 2020 | Mail & Guardian

Siyasanga Gijana was fetching water near her home in the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Philippi, Cape Town on 23 April 2020 when she was shot in the face. The police allegedly fired rubber bullets out of their vehicle in her direction. She lost her eye.

SA exported armoured combat vehicles worth R881m in a year – here’s who’s buying | 11 November 2020 | Business Insider

Over the past year, South African defence companies exported armoured combat vehicles worth more than R880 million.

Germany approves $155m naval arms package to Egypt | 11 November 2020 | Middle East Monitor

Germany has approved the sale of naval equipment to Egypt worth €130 million ($155 million), according to a letter by the German Economy Minister to the Economic Committee of the Bundestag.

Possible investor for PMP as DoD mulls small arms production | 11 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Denel PMP may be getting an investor as the struggling firm takes steps to stay afloat, according to Secretary for Defence Sonto Kudjoe.

Nigeria receives Wing Loong II UAVs from China | 10 November 2020 | Janes

Nigeria has received a pair of Wing Loong II medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from China, a senior Nigerian Air Force (NAF) official announced on 10 November.

Rheinmetall Denel Munition part of Dutch ammunition contract | 10 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) is a part of a massive ammunition framework agreement between Rheinmetall and the Dutch armed forces, which could be worth up to €500 million.

Rosoboronexport sets its sights on Africa | 9 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Russian state arms conglomerate Rosoboronexport is looking to expand its presence in Africa as it celebrates 20 years of existence.

Weapons and Ammunition Management Country Insight: Central African Republic | 5 November 2020 | UNIDIR

Weapons and Ammunition Management Country Insight: Ghana | 5 November 2020 | UNIDIR

Weapons and Ammunition Management Country Insight: Sierra Leone | 29 October 2020 | UNIDIR

UNIDIR defines WAM in a comprehensive manner covering the oversight, accountability and governance of arms and ammunition throughout their management cycle, including establishment of relevant national frameworks, processes and practices for the safe and secure production and acquisition of materiel, stockpiling, transfers, end use control, tracing and disposal. This holistic approach is essential in ensuring that efforts to better regulate arms and ammunition are undertaken in alignment with broader security sector, rule of law, armed violence reduction, counter-terrorism, and peacebuilding processes, and not in isolation.

North Korean weapons used by terrorists in Somalia for attack on UN | 3 November 2020 | IsraelDefense

Al-Qaeda operatives in Somalia used munitions made in North Korea in an attack against a United Nations compound in Somalia earlier this year, according to a UN panel of experts. The Al Shabaab militant group, which has wreaked havoc in the country in the Horn of Africa, carried out six attacks near Eden Adde International Airport within Somalia’s capital between February and May, targeting the heavily-fortified Halane base.

Liberia: Small Arms Commission Holds Three Days Stakeholders’ Consultations to Review and Amend the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act of 2015 | 3 November 2020 | Frontpage Africa

The Government of Liberia through the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) officially commenced a three-day Stakeholders’ Consultation to review and amend the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act of 2015 (FACA), its Regulations and the Act establishing the Small Arms.


UAE Arms Sale Targeted in Suit Seeking to Block $23 Billion Deal | 30 December 2020 | Bloomberg

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was sued by an independent New York policy research group seeking to block the Trump administration’s $23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates.

US approves sale of $290m in bombs to Saudi Arabia | 30 December 2020 | The Guardian

The US state department has approved the sale of $290m in bombs to Saudi Arabia as part of a flurry of arms deals with Middle Eastern dictatorships in the last weeks of the Trump administration.

State Department approves possible $4.2B in weapons sales to Kuwait | 29 December 2020 | UPI

The State Department approved two possible arms sales to Kuwait totaling $4.2 billion Tuesday.

U.S. Blacklists More Than 60 Chinese Firms, Including SMIC | 18 December 2020 | Bloomberg

US Imposes Technology Transfer and Export Restrictions on Dozens of Chinese Companies, Including Top Chipmaker and Drone Manufacturer | 21 December 2020 | Mayer Brown

The U.S. Commerce Department announced it’s blacklisting Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. and more than 60 other Chinese companies “to protect U.S. national security.”

Understanding the OFAC Sanctions Laws: Requirements for U.S. Companies | 18 December 2020 | Williams Mullen | JD Supra

It seems almost every day there are reports of new developments under the U.S. sanctions laws. Yet many U.S. companies do not understand the significance of these laws. While they often appear to affect distant countries such as Iran and N. Korea, they actually impact U.S. companies on a day-to-day basis. Due to the severe civil and criminal penalties involved (including recent penalties of over $1 billion), it is important for companies and their counsel to understand these laws.

U.S. Sanctions Turkey Over Purchase of Russian Missile System | 15 December 2020 | Winston & Strawn LLP

CAATSA Section 231 “Imposition of Sanctions on Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries” | 14 December 2020 | U.S. Department of State

On December 14, 2020, more than a year and a half after the Republic of Turkey acquired a Russian surface-to-air missile system in violation of Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the United States has imposed sanctions on the Republic of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB).

Yémen et Libye : des conflits alimentés par des armes américaines | 15 December 2020 | Amnesty International France

Le Sénat américain vient d’autoriser une vente d’armes à un des principaux acteurs du conflit au Yémen : les Émirats arabes unis. Une nouvelle des plus préoccupantes. 30,57 milliards de dollars d’équipements militaires. C’est le montant des ventes d’armes, aux Émirats arabes unis, venant d’être approuvé par le Sénat américain.

A Review of 2020 Changes in Export Controls vis-à-vis China | 12 December 2020 | Braumiller Law Group PLLC

Although 2020 is not over yet (unfortunately), the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) has had a busy year by any measure. A review of this year’s key export controls developments shows that China, above all, has dominated BIS’s attention. These changes are no doubt motivated by concerns over China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” the close relationship between China’s civil and military sectors, and the breakdown of trade talks between China and the U.S. This article provides a summary of key changes to U.S. export controls in 2020 vis-à-vis China.

They’re culpable’: the countries supplying the guns that kill Mexico’s journalists | 11 December 2020 | The Guardian

Many of the weapons used in the murders of 119 journalists were imported – and Mexico’s laws and culture make tracing them impossible.

Des armes de la FN Herstal retrouvées sur des scènes de crime au Mexique | 10 December 2020 | RTBF

En dix ans, au moins 130 armes produites par l’entreprise liégeoise FN Herstal ont été retrouvées sur des scènes de crime au Mexique. Le pistolet FN Five-SeveN, notamment, est prisé des cartels, ressort-il de l’enquête “Forbidden Stories” menée entre autres par Le Soir, qui en publie ce volet jeudi.

« Projet Cartel » : des armes européennes impliquées dans des assassinats au Mexique | 10 December 2020 | Le Monde

« Mexique, l’empire des cartels ». D’après un rapport publié mercredi par plusieurs ONG en partenariat avec Forbidden Stories, certains fournisseurs sont peu regardants sur les utilisateurs finaux de leur matériel.

US House of Representatives Adopts Sanctions against Turkey | 9 December 2020 | Balkan Insight

The US House of Representatives has adopted sanctions against NATO member Turkey as a result of Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems – which both NATO and the US deem unacceptable.

How Israeli Firearms Fall Into the Hands of Mexican Drug Cartels | 9 December 2020 | Haaretz

Israel sold Mexico over 24,000 guns and rifles from 2006-2018, a new report conducted as part of a global investigation reveals. With little oversight, Israel has inadvertently helped fuel violence in the country.

Irgendwo in Mexiko | 7 December 2020 | TAZ

Die deutsche Waffenfabrik Dynamit Nobel hat Raketenwerfer nach Mexiko exportiert. Unklar ist, wo diese gelandet sind. Und in wessen Händen.

Exemple de démilitarisation : le rôle actif du Costa Rica dans le désarmement | 7 December 2020 | Pressenza

Le Costa Rica se dresse comme l’un des pays les plus pacifiques dans l’une des régions les plus violentes du monde. Il excelle dans quelques domaines : un taux d’alphabétisation à 98%, une espérance de vie de 80.1 ans, et dernièrement, une première place sur l’«Indice de la planète heureuse». Le mot « paix » y est présent partout.

U.S. State Department approves sale of white phosphorus artillery rounds to Australia | 5 December 2020 | Defence-Blog

The Pentagon’s top arms broker, Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the U.S. State Department has cleared a possible of $132.2 million sale of 155mm artillery rounds to Australia, including White Phosphorous projectile munitions.

Possible’ UAE F-35 deal can be inked before Trump administration ends, says top arms officials | 5 December 2020 | Defense News

A top arms sale official believes it is “possible” to get the United Arab Emirates on contract to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter before the end of the Trump administration.

U.S. weapons exports rise 2.8% to $175 billion in fiscal 2020 | 4 December 2020 | Reuters

Sales of U.S. military equipment to foreign governments rose 2.8% to $175 billion in the latest fiscal year, officials said on Friday, with looser restrictions under President Donald Trump boosting purchases during his time in office.

US State Department clears Lebanon for $55.5m arms sale | 3 December 2020 | Middle East Monitor

The US State Department has cleared Lebanon for a foreign weapons sale worth $55.5 million despite the state’s financial woes, Defense News reported. This is the first foreign military sale for Lebanon approved by the US’ State Department since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency in 2017.

The battle over Trump’s huge UAE arms deal, explained | 1 December 2020 | Vox

On Monday evening, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee met for a classified briefing with Trump administration officials to hear about a proposed $23 billion weapons sale to the United Arab Emirates. Right when it ended, one of the attendees blasted what had transpired behind closed doors.

United States: Embargo Arms to the United Arab Emirates | 1 December 2020 | HRW

The United States should halt proposed weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Human Rights Watch said today. It should suspend all future sales until the UAE curtails unlawful airstrikes in Yemen and Libya, halts support and weapons transfers to abusive local forces, and credibly investigates previous alleged violations in both countries.

BIS Amends Export Administration Regulations to Implement Export Enforcement Provisions of ECRA | 30 November 2020 | BakerMcKenzie

On November 17, 2020, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule (“Final Rule”) amending and clarifying certain provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to make them consistent with the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”). The Final Rule also amends certain provisions of the EAR (not strictly concerning ECRA implementation) regarding the issuance of export licenses and denial orders and the payment of civil penalties. For more information about ECRA, please review our prior blog posts here and here.

Brasiliens Waffengewalt – Made in Germany | 30 November 2020 | Der Spiegel

Durch Schusswaffen sterben in Brasilien so viele Menschen wie selten zuvor. Trotzdem hat der Präsident die Regeln für Waffenbesitz weiter gelockert. Davon profitiert vor allem die deutsche Firma Sig Sauer.

U.S. Blacklists Militia, Leader for Alleged Human Rights Abuse in Libya | 25 November 2020 | WSJ

US blacklists Haftar-affiliated Kaniyat armed group for war crimes in Libya | 29 November 2020 | TRT

The U.S. imposed sanctions on a militia and its leader, alleging the group was responsible for torturing and murdering civilians in Libya, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Expect Major Changes In Aerospace And Defense Under Biden | 24 November 2020 | Law360

The election of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. president will result in significant shifts in U.S. aerospace and defense industry priorities, revocation of certain Trump administration policies applicable to government contractors, strengthened “Buy American” requirements, and increased use of defense and NASA budgetary authority to combat climate change.

Sanctions Under the Biden Administration: A Return to ‘Smart?’ | 24 November 2020 | Steptoe & Johnson LLP

This advisory provides a preliminary assessment of the expected policy approach of President-elect Biden’s administration to major US sanctions programs. While specific steps to be taken will be revealed in due course, it is expected that the Biden administration will take a more nuanced approach to the imposition and implementation of sanctions than the current administration.

US slaps sanctions on three Russian companies | 24 November 2020 | TASS

Russian companies Aviazapchast, Elecon and Nilco Group are subjected to US sanctions due to the alleged violation of US non-proliferation legislation in respect of Iran, North Korea and Syria. The US Department of State posted a relevant notice in the Federal Register.

Trump’s UAE Arms Sale Means More Slaughter in Yemen | 12 November 2020 | Counterpunch

U.S. senators seek to stop Trump’s $23 billion in arms sales to UAE | 19 November 2020 | Reuters

U.S. arms sales to UAE draw fire from 29 rights groups | 30 November 2020 | Reuters

The Trump Administration has approved a $23.37 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates. A November 10 statement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the UAE needs the weapons in order to “defend itself against heightened threats from Iran.” That sounds better than admitting that the UAE will use the weapons to kill innocent people in Yemen.

Trump signs executive order to bar U.S. investments from Chinese firms tied to military | 12 November 2020 | The Washington Times

Factbox: List of 31 Chinese companies designated by the U.S. as military-backed | 13 November 2020 | Reuters

President Trump signed an order on Thursday barring U.S. investments in Chinese companies owned or controlled by China’s military, as he tees up a series of executive actions on school choice, immigration and other conservative priorities before Jan. 20 that would force presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden to work to reverse next year.

U.S. State Dept. Clears Controversial $23B Arms Deal To UAE | 10 November 2020 | Aviation Week

The U.S. State Department on Nov. 10 formally approved a proposed sale to the UAE of 50 Lockheed Martin F-35As, 18 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. MQ-9Bs and a $10 billion package of munitions.

Compliance Matters: What Executives Should Know About International Shipments | 9 November 2020 | Lowenstein Sandler LLP | JD Supra

As trade compliance gains more traction, US regulators have made it clear that having compliance policies in place is critical, regardless of the company size or the industry. The implementation of such compliance programs can save companies thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.

U.S. Department of State Issues Guidance on Human Rights Due Diligence for Surveillance-Capable Products and Services | 5 November 2020 | Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

On September 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of State published new guidance on human rights due diligence for U.S. businesses involved in the sale of products or services with surveillance capabilities that could be used by foreign governments.

Commerce Department Restricts Licensing for Exports of National Security Items to China, Venezuela and Russia | 2 November 2020 | JD Supra

Janet Longo, Regulatory Compliance Manager, at the Volkov Law Group, joins us for a blog posting on the Commerce Department’s changes to export licensing policies and procedures for national security items destined to China, Russia and Venezuela.

The Weapons Industry Doesn’t Care Who’s President | 30 October 2020 | The Nation

This summer, Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing—builder of the intercontinental ballistic missile—declared himself cheerfully indifferent to the presidential election. “I think both candidates, at least in my view, appear globally oriented and interested in the defense of our country and I believe they’ll support the industries,” he said on a media call. So don’t expect any official endorsements from him and his colleagues.


SAMI Makes Largest Ever Saudi Arabian Private Military Industry Deal | 29 December 2020 | Eurasia Review

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is buying a defense, energy, ICT, and security services company in the country’s largest ever military industries deal.

Turkey: U.S. and EU Sanctions Developments | 23 December 2020 | Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP | JD Supra

On December 14, 2020 the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and four of its officers. The European Union separately has also recently adopted new sanctions against Turkey in connection with disputed Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean…

Korea’s K7 Submachine Gun Shows up at Iran Arms Expo | 15 December 2020 | Chosun

Korea’s K7 submachine gun has been displayed at a firearms expo in Iran, which is prevented from buying arms under UN sanctions.

Taiwan sees role as arms supplier for West as launches new warship | 15 December 2020 | Reuters

Taiwan may become a supplier of weapons to Western democracies, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, praising the island’s ramped up weapons-design ability as she launched an advanced, missile-laden warship and commissioned a new minelayer.

China’s New Export Control Law: An Overview | 14 December 2020 | Frost Brown Todd LLC

On October 17, 2020, the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress promulgated the Export Control Law of People’s Republic of China (ECL), the first comprehensive set of export control laws in China. The ECL becomes effective on December 1, 2020. It creates a framework for control of exports that China considers a matter of national security that restricts or prevents export of such goods and services.

The Turkish defence body that the U.S. could sanction | 11 December 2020 | Reuters

Erdogan says U.S. sanctions would ‘disrespect’ Turkey | 11 December 2020 | Reuters

The United States is poised to impose sanctions on Turkey for purchasing Russian defence systems, according to sources who said they would target the Turkish Defence Industries Directorate (SSB) and its head, Ismail Demir.

With Arms Deals and Donations, Turkey Steps up Balkan Influence | 11 December 2020 | Balkan Insight

Turkey has long pursued a policy of soft-power diplomacy in the Balkans. More recently, the defence sector has come to the fore.

Exporting weapons is a clear and present danger | 8 December 2020 | Green Left

Then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pronounced in 2018 that Australia should aspire to be in the top 10 military equipment exporters in the world within the next 10 years. Turnbull committed to a $3.8 billion loan scheme for arms manufacturers to bolster their access to international markets.

China accused of helping rebel groups on Myanmar border | 7 December 2020 | The Sentinel

Indian officials say China is assisting rebel groups that have stepped up attacks on its border with Myanmar in recent months, opening another front in the conflict between two nations already engaged in a deadly standoff in the Himalayas.

China’s First Measures Under New Export Control Law Target Encryption Products | 7 December 2020 | DLA Piper

China Publishes Lists and Rules Related to Import and Export of Commercial Encryption | 8 December 2020 | Covington & Burling LLP | Inside Privacy

China Publishes Import License List and Export Control List for Commercial Encryption | 17 December 2020 | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP | JD Supra

China’s new Export Control Law (ECL) took effect on December 1, 2020. The next day, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), together with the State Cryptography Administration and the General Administration of Customs (China Customs), released a circular entitled Announcement on the Issuance of Import Approval List, Export Control List and Related Administrative Measures for Commercial Encryption (Circular)1. The circular includes the first list of products and technologies (Initial List) subject to restrictions under the new ECL, focusing on commercial encryption products and technologies.

Lebanon to receive more U.S. vehicles to fight militants | 5 December 2020 | Defence-Blog

The Pentagon’s top arms broker announced that the U.S. State Department has cleared the sale of M1152 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) to Lebanon.

South Korea to buy Phalanx point defense gun systems | 5 December 2020 | Defence-Blog

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced this week that the U.S. State Department recently approved the potential sale to the Republic of Korea of two American-made Phalanx weapon systems.

To Which Points of the Export Control Law Should We Pay Attention? | 4 December 2020 | Winston & Strawn LLP

China overhauls its export control regime: what China’s new export control law changes and how to respond| 7 December 2020 | K&L Gates LLP

China’s New Weapon in the US Trade War: The Export Control Law | 4 December 2020 | The Diplomat

On October 17, 2020, the Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “Export Control Law” or “the law”) was adopted at the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (“NPC”); it took effect on December 1, 2020. The law was listed into the annual legislative work plan of the State Council in 2016. The Ministry of Commerce issued the draft for comments on June 16, 2017. After three deliberation sessions by the Standing Committee of the NPC on December 28, 2019; June 28, 2020; and October 13, 2020, the law was finally approved by vote. The approval of the law is particularly significant in light of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Britain sent Saudi Arabia thousands of spare parts for warplanes amid arms embargo | 3 December 2020 | Daily Maverick

The UK military supplied 2,323 spare parts for Tornado fighter jets to an arms company in Saudi Arabia last year, despite a court order against exporting weapons for use in the Yemen war, Declassified UK has found.

The 5 state-owned defence companies behind China’s booming arms industry | 2 December 2020 | The Print

A new research paper on Chinese drone exports — revealing that 11 out of the top 18 countries had obtained armed drones from China between 2011 and 2019 — has brought into focus the country’s booming defence industry that is hinged on its major state-owned companies.

UAE firm Caracal to bring small arms portfolio under Make in India, looks to salvage Army deal | 1 December 2020 | The Print

UAE’s state-owned small arms firm Caracal said it is bringing its entire portfolio of products under the ‘Make in India’ initiative as the country stepped up diplomatic efforts to salvage an Army contract for over 93,000 close quarter battle rifles (carbines).

China’s New Export Control Law: A Fact Sheet With Practical Applications | 30 November 2020 | Benesch | JD Supra

On October 17, 2020, the Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (“EC Law”) was finally promulgated after three rounds of deliberation by the 13th National People’s Congress. The new EC Law will take effect on December 1, 2020. The new EC Law unifies China’s regulatory system of export control in order to safeguard its national security and interests, fulfill international obligations such as non-proliferation, and strengthen and standardize export control requirements.

The Yemen Civil War Arms Bonanza | 21 November 2020 | International Policy Digest

Making billions from arms exports which fuel the conflict while providing a small fraction of that in aid to Yemen is both immoral and incoherent,” thundered Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director, Muhsin Siddiquey, after consulting figures from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showing that members of the G20 have exported over $17 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the Kingdom entered the conflict in Yemen. “The world’s wealthiest nations cannot continue to put profits above the Yemeni people.”

Jemen-Krieg: Wert von Waffenexporten der G20 um ein Vielfaches höher als ihre humanitäre Hilfe | 18 November 2020 | Oxfam Deutschland | LifePR

Mitglieder der G20 haben Waffen im Wert von mehr als 17 Milliarden US-Dollar nach Saudi-Arabien exportiert, seit der Golfstaat 2015 Kriegspartei im Jemen wurde. Dies ist das Dreifache dessen, was die G20 aufbringen, um dort humanitäre Hilfe zu leisten. Das zeigen aktuelle Berechnungen, die die Nothilfe- und Entwicklungsorganisation Oxfam heute veröffentlicht. Ende dieser Woche findet ein von Saudi-Arabien ausgerichtetes virtuelles Gipfeltreffen der Staats- und Regierungschefs statt. Oxfam fordert von den G20 einen größeren Beitrag zum Hilfsaufruf der Vereinten Nationen sowie mehr Engagement für einen Waffenstillstand und Friedensverhandlungen.

New Export Control Law: China Strengthens its Regulatory “Great Wall” | 18 November 2020 | Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP | JD Supra

Year 2020 definitely is a milestone year for China in building up and strengthening its regulatory legislation in the field of international trade. Following the Regulations on Unreliable Entity List (“UEL”), the Export Control Law came out on October 17 and will come into effect on December 1, 2020. Obviously, this Export Control Law of the PRC (“Export Control Law”) is one of the most important bricks to China’s regulatory Great Wall in the ongoing trade war to protect its key national security and interests.

Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE | 17 November 2020 | Michael West Media

Department of Defence secretly investigates itself, does not make public the review’s existence or its terms of reference, and keeps any resulting report secret. Defence recommends buying hundreds of vehicles from Thales, despite no need for them, just so Thales can keep its factory open. Houston, we have a problem, writes Michelle Fahy.

Ventes d’armes : comment mettre fin à la complicité de la France au Yémen | 16 November 2020 | Amnesty International France

En 2018, à la suite de la mobilisation d’ONG comme la nôtre et de l’opinion publique, une mission d’information parlementaire sur les exportations d’armes françaises a été créée.

Overview of the UAE’s Export Control Regime | 11 November 2020 | Morgan Lewis LLP

This LawFlash provides a timely overview of the UAE’s export control regime as domestic defence-industrial manufacturing capabilities continue to mature, and the UAE pursues new defence export opportunities.

The Enactment of China’s Export Control Law: Welcoming a New Era of Export Control | 11 November 2020 | Dentons | JD Supra

Since December 2019, after three deliberations, the 22nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress promulgated the Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (the Export Control Law) on October 17, 2020. This means that China has enacted its first comprehensive and unified legislation in the field of export control, which will better promote and lead China’s export control administration and safeguard China’s national security and interests. The Export Control Law will enter into effect on December 1, 2020, therefore there for businesses to self-check and comply with the new law beforehand.

Arms sales to the UAE could make U.S. Responsible for more deaths of civilians in Yemen and Libya | 9 november 2020 | Amnesty International USA

Ahead of plans by the United States to sell 18 armed aerial drones worth approximately $2.9 billion to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Philippe Nassif, the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA said:..

New Export Control Law: 5 Issues Remains to be Clarified | 5 November 2020 | King & Wood Mallesons | China Law Insight

The official release of the Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Export Control Law”) on 17 October 2020 marks the beginning of a new phase in China’s export control legislation – from law-making to law enforcement. The new law has many material changes and breakthroughs to the existing rules and concepts of export control in China. Therefore, how the export control enforcement will unfold in China under the Export Control Law to be effective on 1 December 2020 has aroused wide public attention.

Triebwerke für iranische Kampfdrohen aus Europa? | 2 November 2020 | DW

Der Iran hat trotz EU-Waffenembargo Sportmotoren aus Österreich in seine Kampfdrohnen eingebaut. Nur, der Hersteller wusste nichts davon. Der Fall zeigt, dass die Exportkontrolle der EU-Länder Lücken hat.

China Enacts New Export Control Law – Global Businesses Take Heed | 2 November 2020 | Paul Hastings LLP

In a move that is certain to have broad impacts on cross-border trade, China is preparing to implement a comprehensive new Export Control Law (“ECL”). Many of the requirements, concepts, and mechanisms under the new law—which was announced on October 17, 2020 and is slated to come into effect on December 1, 2020—will be recognized by those familiar with the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).

China’s New Export Control Law: Key Points and Implications | November 2020 | Zhong Lun Law Firm | Lexology

On October 17, 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (“NPC”) passed the widely concerned Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (“Export Control Law” or “Law”), which will take into effect as of December 1, 2020. The Export Control Law will formalize the legal framework of China’s rapidly developing export control regime, which is in nowadays built on the multiple scattered administrative regulations, ministry rules and enforcement measures.

An Additional Export Control Regime to Follow – China and the Impact of their New Export Control Laws for Swiss Companies | November 2020 | MME Legal Tax Compliance

The National Congress of China has passed a completely revised Export Control Law (“ECL”) on October 17, 2020, which will take effect on December 1, 2020. This new ECL will restrict not only the export of dual-use and military products, technology and services to support non-proliferation objectives, but will also allow China to restrict the export of technology for national security and public policy reasons. Prohibitions of export or licensing requirement will be based on the items, as well as their end users, end-uses or destinations.


Turkey’s defence minister upset about Greece’s weapons procurement | 30 December 2020 | Ahval

You can buy as many aircraft, submarines and ships as you like; it won’t be enough,” Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar recently warned Greece. The fact is, they probably will be enough and they’re certainly causing concern, otherwise why would our neighbor’s top defence official make such a statement?

Israeli-led consortium finalises deal for Greek defence company | 23 December 2020 | Ahval

An Israeli-led consortium has purchased the majority shares in Greece’s state-controlled military vehicle manufacturer Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO), Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Tuesday.

MilDef to deliver components for new British Army armoured vehicle | 22 December 2020 | Army-Technology

Wales-based firm MilDef has secured a contract from RBSL and Rheinmetall to delivery key components for the new armoured fighting vehicles for the British Army.

Not only in Israel: German assault rifle tender scandal is getting more complicated | 19 December 2020 | IsraelDefense

Auftrag für Sturmgewehr: Chancen für Heckler & Koch wachsen wieder | 18 December 2020 | Handelsblatt

Gutachten stärkt Zweifel am Haenel-Sturmgewehr | 18 December 2020 | Augsburger Allgemeine

Sturmgewehr-Affäre: Landgericht Düsseldorf lässt Beweise bei Waffenfirma C.G. Haenel sichern | 14 December 2020 | BusinessInsider

Court investigators raided the headquarters of small arms manufacturer C.G. Haenel due to claims by rival company Heckler & Koch of patent infringement.

Germany decides to buy 25.1% stake in defence supplier Hensoldt | 18 December 2020 | DefenceWeb

Germany’s government has decided to buy a 25.1% stake in defence supplier Hensoldt at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The government’s excuse for arms sales to Saudi Arabia goes against its own policy | 17 December 2020 | Byline Times

Billions of pounds’ worth of arms resumed flowing from the UK to Saudi Arabia in July when the Government claimed any Saudi air strikes in Yemen that violated International Humanitarian Law were simply “isolated incidents”. Trade Secretary Liz Truss said at the time it was because there is no “pattern” of war crimes that the arms exports, halted by a June 2019 court ruling, were now free to continue.

UkrOboronProm receives Ukrainian Army order for 75 BTR-4 combat vehicles | 11 December 2020 | Defence-Blog

On Friday, General Director at Ukroboronprom State Concern Yuriy V Gusev said that the Ukrainian Army is purchasing a new tranche of 75 BTR-4E infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) for its soldiers.

Danish Pension Funds Caught Funneling Millions Into Foreign Arms Manufacturers | 11 December 2020 | Sputnik News

Danish pensioners’ savings are indirectly involved in the supply of weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia – two countries heavily involved in the conflict in Yemen that the UN has designated as the worst current humanitarian crisis in the world.

EU adopts a global human rights sanctions regime | 11 December 2020 | Hogan Lovells LLP | JD Supra

On 7 December 2020, the EU adopted a global human rights sanctions regime. No individuals have been designated yet. Going forward, this means that companies should ensure that they conduct sanctions screening on all counterparties and business partners against the EU asset freeze list, even if those third parties are not located in a country specifically targeted by an EU sanctions programme.

Exportations d’armes : le gouvernement opposé à un contrôle parlementaire ? | 9 December 2020 | France24

Une note gouvernementale “confidentiel défense”, révélée lundi par Disclose, prend position contre les conclusions d’un rapport parlementaire préconisant un contrôle accru du Parlement sur les exportations d’armement.

EU approves its ‘Magnitsky Act’ to target human rights abuses | 7 December 2020 | DW

Under a new system similar to the US Magnitsky Act, the EU now has more powers to punish individuals involved in human rights violations. The new rules will make it easier to ban them from entering the bloc.

Bundesregierung genehmigt Panzer-Lieferung an Katar | 7 December 2020 | Business Insider

Die Bundesregierung hat die Lieferung von 15 Flugabwehr-Panzern des Typs „Gepard“ an das Golfemirat Katar genehmigt. Wirtschaftsminister Peter Altmaier (CDU) teilte die Entscheidung des Bundessicherheitsrats dem Wirtschaftsausschuss des Bundestags am Montag in einem Schreiben mit, das der Deutschen Presse-Agentur vorliegt.

Georgian Army to receive 600 M249 SAW machine guns | 7 December 2020 | IsraelDefense

The Ministry of Defense of Georgia and the US Embassy in Georgia have simultaneously announced a US-funded program of equipping the Georgian Defense Forces (GDF) with 600 M249 light machine guns, also known as squad automatic weapons.

France’s weapons sales to Egypt won’t be conditioned on human rights: Macron | 7 December 2020 | Middle East Eye

Macron says France will sell arms to Egypt irrespective of human rights | 7 December 2020 | Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he would not condition the future sale of weapons to Egypt on human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to counter terrorism in the region.

Swiss technology used in Azerbaijani military drones, report claims | 7 December 2020 | SwissInfo

Drones using Swiss-made components were reportedly deployed by the Azerbaijan army in the recent conflict with Armenia, according to Swiss public television, SRF.

Ventes d’armes : en secret, l’exécutif déclare la guerre au Parlement | 7 December 2020 | Disclose

Une note classée « confidentiel défense » dévoile la stratégie du gouvernement pour torpiller les propositions d’un rapport parlementaire sur un contrôle plus démocratique des exportations d’armement.

L’industriel français Dassault dans le premier cercle des vendeurs d’armes | 7 December 2020 | Le Monde

En tête, rien ne bouge. Cinq groupes américains – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics – dominent le classement mondial des industriels de l’armement, publié lundi 7 décembre par l’Institut international de recherche sur la paix de Stockholm (Sipri). Ce palmarès a été établi à partir des données de 2019, année où les ventes d’armes et autres équipements militaires des 25 premiers acteurs du secteur ont atteint 361 milliards de dollars (298 milliards d’euros), soit 8,5 % de plus que le top 25 en 2018.

Bundesregierung genehmigt Export von 15 Gepard-Panzern nach Katar | 7 December 2020 | Der Spiegel

Es ist eine der größten Exportgenehmigungen der Bundesregierung an den Persischen Golf seit Langem: Katar bekommt nach SPIEGEL-Informationen 15 Luftabwehrpanzer zusammen mit 16.000 Patronen geliefert.

Belgian companies circumvent arms embargo to Turkey | 5 December 2020 | Brussels Times

A loophole in export legislation is allowing Flemish companies to export parts for aircraft involved in conflict in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, De Morgen reports.

This time’s for real: German government prohibits acquisition of a tech company by a Chinese acquirer | 4 December 2020 | JD Supra

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the German Federal Government prohibited the acquisition of communications technology company IMST GmbH by the Chinese investor Addsino Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned defence group China Aerospace and Industry Group Co. Ltd (CASIC).

France Confirms That Indonesia Wants To Buy Rafale Fighter Jets | 4 December 2020 | The Drive

Indonesia’s protracted search for a new fighter aircraft has taken another, surprising, twist, with confirmation that the Southeast Asian country is in negotiations with France to purchase Dassault Rafale multirole jets. The latest development comes after Indonesia showed interest in Austria’s Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, and with plans to acquire Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 Flankers apparently still stalled.

Berlin schließt Wiederaufnahme von Waffenlieferungen nicht aus | 3 December 2020 | Süddeutsche Zeitung

Deutsche Exporte von Kriegsgerät nach Saudi-Arabien sind bis Jahresende verboten. Ob es dabei bleibt, lässt die Regierung offen. Derweil poliert das Königreich fleißig sein Image.

The Killing Business: Israeli “Kamikaze” Drones Used by Azerbaijan Utilized French and Swiss Technologies| 3 December 2020 | Hetq

During the September 27 war unleashed by the Azerbaijani-Turkish tandem against Artsakh, the Hetq team gathered evidence on the weapons used by the enemy against Artsakh. Hetq Editor-in-Chief Edik Baghdasaryan and photographer Hakob Poghosyan photographed the wreckage of various missiles and drones.

13 ONG appellent le gouvernement français à agir rapidement pour assurer la transparence en matière de contrôle des ventes d’armes | 3 December 2020 | Amnesty International France

La Mission d’information sur le contrôle des exportations d’armement a remis le 18 novembre 2020 son rapport. Celui-ci acte la nécessité d’une transparence considérablement renforcée de la part du gouvernement sur les ventes d’armes françaises et préconise de doter enfin le Parlement « d’un véritable pouvoir de contrôle » sur celles-ci.

Beware, Turkey: Bargain Priced M1117 Guardians Heading to Greece | 2 December 2020 | The National Interest

The Greek military could soon have some slightly used “Guardians” to help protect its rugged countryside. Over the summer the U.S. Congress approved the sale of 1,200 used 4×4 M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicles (ASV) at what can only be described as a truly discounted price, and those vehicles could soon be headed to Greece.

La vente d’armes wallonnes à l’étranger en hausse de 180% | 30 November 2020 | L’Echo

La Région wallonne a accordé aux entreprises du secteur pour plus de 2,6 milliards de licences d’exportation et de transfert d’armes en 2019.

£2.4 billion munitions deal secures thousands of UK jobs | 30 November 2020 | UK Government

A new £2.4 billion contract to equip UK Armed Forces with essential fire power will sustain 4,000 jobs around the UK over 15 years, Defence Minister Jeremy Quin today announced.

Streit um neues Bundeswehr-Gewehr eskaliert | 29 November 2020 | Bild

Es ist eine große Blamage für Ministerin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU): Erst hatte ihr Verteidigungsministerium entschieden, dass die Truppe mit 120 000 neuen MK556-Gewehren von Haenel ausgestattet werden soll, dann musste das gesamte Verfahren wegen eines Rechtsstreits GESTOPPT werden.

Secretive licensing system allows UK weapons to reach ‘repressive regimes’ | 29 November 2020 | The Guardian

Most UK arms are being sold via a secretive and opaque licensing regime that allows for the mass transfer of deadly weapons to “sensitive locations”, according to new analysis.

Swiss looks set to dismiss ban on funding of weapons makers | 29 November 2020 | Reuters

Swiss voters on Sunday looked set to reject a proposal seeking to impose a ban on funding arms makers, the latest anti-military referendum in a nation that hasn’t fought an external war for 200 years, first projections released by broadcaster SRF showed.

UK secretly deployed British troops to defend Saudi Arabian oil fields | 28 November 2020 | Tehran Times

Opposition parties accused the government of lacking a “moral compass” and dodging scrutiny, while campaigners said the episode was “symptomatic of the toxic relationship” between the UK government and the oil-rich autocracy, The Independent reported.

EU export controls: EU Dual-Use Regulation updated | 27 November 2020 | Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The German presidency of the Council and representatives from the European Parliament have recently agreed on an update to the EU Dual-Use Regulation. The regulation controls items, software and technology that can be used for both civil and military purposes.

EU to use Magnitsky-style law to impose sanctions on human rights abusers | 27 November 2020 | The Guardian

The EU will take on powers to freeze assets and impose travel bans on individuals involved in human rights abuses from next month, after the bloc’s member states provisionally approved a European Magnitsky Act.

Rheinmetall partners with Czechoslovak Group for military vehicles | 27 November 2020 | ArmyTechnology

Rheinmetall has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Czechoslovak Group (CSG) for collaboration in the tactical military vehicles field.

Notice to exporters 2020/16: UK exporters fined for unlicensed exports | 24 November 2020 | UK Government

Compound settlements issued by HMRC for breaches of the export control order between March and September 2020.

Upgrade of rules on trade of dual-use items | 19 November 2020 | Dentons | JD Supra

On 9 November 2020, the European Parliament and the European Council reached a provisional political agreement on a revised regulation setting out the European Union’s regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance, and transit of dual-use items. Subsequently, the Member States’ ambassadors sitting on the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) need to approve this new regulation before the Parliament and Council adopt it. We expect the new regulation to be adopted before the end of 2020, although it almost certainly comes too late to be carried over into UK law after Brexit (only EU law that actually applies on 31 December 2020, will be carried into UK law), thereby setting up export controls as an area where we may see early divergence between EU and UK rules.

Russian armored vehicle exports exceed 7,000 systems | 18 November 2020 | ArmyRecognition

Russia’s exports of land hardware have exceeded 7,000 systems since 2000, a spokesperson for the Rosoboronexport arms exporting company (a subsidiary of Rostec) told the TASS news agency on November 18 : “Rosoboronexport has exported more than 7,000 land armored platforms worth approximately USD30 billion to 44 countries,” he said.

French complicity in Yemen and Libya | 18 November 2020 | White Newspaper

Two months in the past, the whole delegation of French MEPs from the liberal Renew Europe group, save one, voted towards larger oversight over weapons exports. The modification was half of a bigger report on arms to implement EU-wide pointers on a multi-billion euro trade that provides weapons to nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

European Authorities Crack Down on Arms Traffickers | 18 November 2020 | OCCRP

Police in Europe cracked down on the illegal arms trade across the continent in two separate operations that saw 18 arrests, dozens of objects raided, nearly 200 firearms and millions in assets seized across the continent.

Major Swiss banks invest billions in weapons manufacturers | 16 November 2020 | Swiss Info

Switzerland’s largest financial institutions invest billions of dollars in the global weapons industry. In the United States alone, Switzerland’s central bank has invested more than $2 billion (CHF1.8 billion). On November 29, Swiss voters will have their say on whether they want to put a stop to these activities.

NGOs urge France to give parliament control over arms sales | 16 November 2020 | RFI

Fourteen of the world’s top human rights and humanitarian organisations have called on the French government to “end France’s opacity on arms sales”, ahead the publication of a parliamentary fact-finding report on arms export control to be published on 18 November.

Hemmelige rapporter: USA spionerede mod danske ministerier og forsvarsindustri | 15 November 2020 | DR

US spied on Danish, European Defence industries: report | 17 November 2020 | The News

US accused of spying on Danish and European defence industries | 17 November 2020 | The Local

How the U.S.-Danish scandal reveals the hypocrisy of the ‘Clean Network’ | 17 November 2020 | CGTN

This week Denmark’s Public Broadcaster, the DR, published a series of revelations that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) coordinated with the country’s intelligence services to spy on Denmark’s government itself, including their financial and foreign ministries, as well as a number of European defence firms, in order to obtain information on the country’s fighter acquisition program and subsequently gain an advantage in selling the country Lockheed Martin F-35s instead of them purchasing Eurofighters.

Croatie.Trafic d’armes : comment je me suis procuré une kalachnikov en quarante-huit heures | 14 November 2020 | Courrier International

Zemlja puna oružja. Kako je Danijel Bezuk došao do kalašljikova? Naš novinar ga je nabavio za samo 50 sati… | 12 November 2020 | Jutarnji List

Au cœur du trafic qui a notamment fourni les armes des attentats de Paris de 2015, les pays des Balkans occidentaux proposent des kalachnikovs à des prix dérisoires sur le marché noir. À la suite de plusieurs incidents en Croatie cette année, un journaliste de Jutarnji List a facilement obtenu cette arme illégale prisée des terroristes et des bandes criminelles. Enquête.

Pacifist group slams Swiss investment in global arms industry | 14 November 2020 | SwissInfo

A left-wing party and a pacifist group have joined forces to try and restrict the financing of weapons producing companies. The issue will come to a nationwide vote on November 29.

Opponents say anti-arms investment plan would hit small firms | 14 November 2020 | SwissInfo

The left-wing initiative wants to prohibit the Swiss National Bank (SNB) as well as Swiss foundations and pension funds from investing in producers of war materiel, particularly global weapons manufacturers.

EU tightens export rules for dual-use technologies | 12 November 2020 | Janes

Policymakers in Brussels agreed on 9 November to substantially overhaul the EU’s long-standing export regime for dual-use goods and technologies.

Danish company charged with violating EU sanctions on Syria | 12 November 2020 | The Local

Denmark’s financial crimes unit on Wednesday announced charges against a Danish company suspected of violating EU sanctions on Syria by delivering large quantities of fuel to Russian warplanes there.

Eurojet signs contract with NETMA for 56 new EJ200 engines for new German Air Force Eurofighter T4 | 11 November 2020 | Aviation Report

Eurojet Turbo GmbH (EUROJET), the consortium responsible for the EJ200 engine installed in the Eurofighter Typhoon, signed a contract with the NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) to provide 56 new EJ200 engines for the German Air Force.

EU agrees new rules on trade of dual-use items | 11 November 2020 | BakerMcKenzie Blog

The European Council announced on Monday that it has reached agreement on a new EU regime for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use items.

Arms sales to Saudi Arabia set to soar after Whitehall clears backlog of export applications | 11 November 2020 | iNews

Sales of British weaponry and defence equipment to Saudi Arabia are to set to soar after a “backlog” of hundreds of applications to export arms to the desert kingdom was cleared in just four months following the lifting of a ban on sales.

Vente d’armes : des ONG dénoncent “l’absence de transparence” de la France | 10 November 2020 | Sudouest

La France est un fournisseur de matériel militaire à l’Arabie saoudite et aux Émirats arabes unis, soupçonnés de crimes de guerre par les Organisations non gouvernementales.

Geheimtreffen im Bundestag: Chef der Sturmgewehr-Firma C.G. Haenel will seinen Bundeswehr-Auftrag retten | 10 November 2020 | Business Insider

Die Thüringer Waffenschmiede C.G. Haenel will um ihren umstrittenen Bundeswehr-Auftrag zum Bau von 120.000 neuen Sturmgewehren kämpfen.

Illegaler Waffenhandel: Drei Mal verurteilt, doch nie in Haft | 10 November 2020 | Kurier

Die Attentäter nutzen den illegalen Waffenhandel für ihre Terrorpläne. Auch Kujtim F. (20) bekam sein Kalaschnikow-ähnliches Sturmgewehr vom Typ Zastava M70 und die dazu passende Munition aus illegalen Kreisen. Womöglich von seinen Kontakten zu Dschihadisten in Deutschland. Denn nach dem gescheiterten Munitionskauf am 21. Juli in Bratislava soll es ein weiteres Treffen des Terroristen mit Gleichgesinnten aus dem Nachbarland gegeben haben. Derzeit laufen die Untersuchungen, ob es dabei zur Übergabe von Waffen und Munition gekommen ist.

Europe is adopting stricter rules on surveillance tech | 9 November 2020 | MIT Technology Review

The European Union has agreed to stricter rules on the sale and export of cyber-surveillance technologies like facial recognition and spyware. After years of negotiations, the new regulation will be announced today in Brussels. Details of the plan were reported in Politico last month.

Initiative aims to impose ethical investment rules | 9 November 2020 | SwissInfo

Selling arms is a lucrative business. The turnover in legal international arms trade is estimated to be at least $80-100 billion (CHF72-90 billion) per year. Those who invest in and promote the industry also make big bucks. This symbiotic relationship is at the crux of the anti-arms investment initiative that seeks to ban the financing of companies that produce war materials. Switzerland is one of the biggest and most important financial markets in the world and plays an important role in the arms industry.

Kindersoldat*innen mit deutschen Waffen | 5 November 2020 | Brot für die Welt

Deutschland liefert Waffen und Munition in zahlreiche Konfliktländer, in denen Kinder getötet oder als Soldat*innen rekrutiert werden. Das belegt die neue Studie „Kleinwaffen in kleinen Händen – Deutsche Rüstungsexporte verletzen Kinderrechte“, die von den Hilfswerken Brot für die Welt und terre des hommes herausgegeben und heute vorgestellt wurde.

Germany Delivers Weapons to Saudi Arabia Via Other Nations | 5 November 2020 | The Trumpet

After the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is suspected to have orchestrated, the German government imposed a complete export ban against Saudi Arabia in November 2018. The German press and politicians condemned Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and accused United States President Donald Trump of supporting the regime.

Neuer Sturm ums Suhler Gewehr | 4 November 2020 | In Südthüringen

Was ist schief gelaufen beim Vergabeauftrag für 120 000 neue Bundeswehr-Sturmgewehre, der erst sensationell an die Suhler Waffenschmiede Haenel/Merkel ging und dann vor vier Wochen ebenso überraschend gestoppt wurde? Inzwischen kommt immer mehr Licht ins Dunkel der Vorwürfe, denen sich die Entscheider im Verteidigungsministerium ausgesetzt sehen.

European NGOs plan to push Norwegian fund for arms ban | 4 November 2020 | IPE

Facing Finance, a German non-governmental organisation, plans to join forces with other NGOs in Europe to exercise pressure on the Norwegian finance ministry for the Government Pension Fund Global’s (GPFG) adoption of new ethical investment guidelines.

Will Poland build a Main Battle Tank with Italy and Spain? “Political decisions are the key” | 2 November 2020 | Defence24

The Italian authorities have created a proposal for Poland and other states, including Spain, to jointly pursue a new generation MBT programme. PGZ emphasizes its interest in creating a new main battle tank, not excluding a joint project with some international partners. For the project to take place, political decisions are required.