“The Kurds ‘didn’t help us’ in Normandy”
On 8 October the invasion of northern Syria by Turkey began with air strikes on the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This military offensive came after a telephone call between president Trump and president Erdogan on 6 October. Trump had agreed to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. The U.S. media speculate that Trump’s willingness to please president Erdogan is due to the ongoing business interests of the Trump family in Turkey. It is alleged that the Trump family still has business interests in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The SDF is a military alliance of Arab, Turkmen, Armenian and Syrian Kurdish fighters. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are the leading force within the SDF, and are considered terrorists by Turkey. The Turkish invasion is supported by armed Syrian opposition groups linked to the former Free Syrian Army (FSA). These Turkish-backed proxies call themselves the Syrian National Army (SNA), which includes radical islamist, and salafist jihadi armed groups. Already in 2013 the Pentagon had estimated that more than half of the FSA (then backed by the United States) was composed of extreme islamist groups. In March 2018 Turkish armed forces and its proxies have committed serious human rights violations after the capture of Afrin from YPG forces, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and torture. A few days after the invasion of northern Syria the first news reports of extrajudicial killings of civilians and prisoners of war by the SNA have emerged. (*) On October 13 U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper accused Turkey of committing war crimes in northern Syria. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a press statement which stated: “Under international human rights and international humanitarian law, summary executions are serious violations – and may amount to a war crime. Turkey could be deemed responsible as a State for violations committed by their affiliated armed groups, as long as Turkey exercises effective control over these groups, or the operations in the course of which those violations occurred.”
The Turkish objective allegedly was to create a 30km deep ‘safe zone’ along the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkish president Erdogan plans to send millions of Arab Syrian refugees into northern Syria. The international community fears mass displacement of the Syrian Kurds. Some warned that this may lead to ethnic cleansing of the Syrian Kurds, christians and other minorities. Newsweek reported that Fox News was told that U.S. military commanders had warnedTrump and the White House that their decision to pull the troops “could lead to the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish fighters, who fought along U.S. forces to defeat ISIS”.
The Turkish government has been accused of arming and assisting islamist armed Syrian groups. In 2015 the Turkish newspaper ‘Cumhuriyet’ published photographs and video footage of trucks allegedly under the control of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) carrying weapons destined for jihadis in neighbouring Syria. It is alleged that Turkey has turned a blind-eye to islamist jihadis crossing the Turkish-Syrian border. Brett McGurk, the former Presidential Envoy to the International Coalition to Defeat Daesh, had this to say on Twitter: “Tal Abyad, a Syrian border town, was the main supply route for ISIS from 6/14-6/15 when weapons, explosives, and fighters flowed freely from Turkey to Raqqa and into Iraq. Turkey refused repeated and detailed requests to seal its side of the border with US help and assistance.” McGurk acknowledged that some of the Turkish-backed opposition groups, who had received military aid from the U.S., had previously given their military equipment to al-Qaeda in Syria.
It seems Trump’s decision did take Congress and Pentagon by surprise. Within Congress both Democrats and Republicans lambasted Trump for abandoning an ally. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for economic sanctions, including an arms embargo, against Turkey. On Monday October 14 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against two ministries and three senior Turkish Government officials in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria. An EU arms embargo against Turkey seems to have been blocked by the United Kingdom. Several EU member States did impose an arms embargo on Turkey: Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Flanders, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, possibly Spain and Denmark will follow.
On Monday October 14 it was reported that the SDF had accepted a deal, brokered by the Russian government, with the Syrian government. Subsequently the Syrian armed forces rushed to the Syrian-Turkish border, and entered the town of Manbij on Tuesday. Russian forces are reported to have begun patrolling the territory separating Turkish-backed proxies from the Syrian army.
The winner of this debacle will most likely be ISIS. U.S. Defense Secretary Esper said the Turkish military invasion would encourage instability and could cause the resurrection of ISIS.
U.S. officials confirmed to Foreign Policy that Turkish-backed armed groups were “deliberately releasing detaineesaffiliated with the Islamic State from unguarded prisons”. Meanwhile ISIS militants have escaped from SDF captivity.
Claus Kreß, professor of criminal law and public international law, argues that it is impossible to see how the Turkish invasion of northern Syria could be justified under international law based upon the right of self-defence. Moreover, “[T]here is the very serious possibility that Operation ‘Peace Spring’ could constitute a manifest violation of the prohibition of the use of force. There is reason to believe that the Turkish President, by giving and maintaining the order for ‘Peace Spring’, could have incurred and could continue incurring individual criminal responsibility for a crime of aggression, as defined in Article 8bis of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.”
Kreß poignantly remarked: “Turkey’s NATO partners did not ask her to explain to the international community in a verifiable manner how the massive use of force she was announcing could be justified in view of the prohibition of the use of force under international law. Even when Operation ‘Peace Spring’ had begun, NATO partners left it to Syria’s President to invoke international law – to the same Syrian President who has been under suspicion for years of having incurred individual criminal responsibility for the commission of crimes under international law against civilian populations in Syria.”.
(*) https://twitter.com/Joyce_Karam/status/1183069837221941248; https://twitter.com/RichardEngel/status/1183080487243407361
ARMS TRADE TREATY
The Arms Trade Treaty Builds Humanitarian Norms | October 2019 | ICRC | Arms Control Today
Today, millions of people live in the shadow of war and other forms of armed violence. Years and sometimes decades of conflict have devastating, far-reaching humanitarian consequences, not just the direct effects of attacks on individuals and communities but the indirect consequences that disrupt and destroy basic services. Beyond the immediate death and destruction, we see forced displacement, often on a massive scale; deteriorating services; increasing dangers for those working to provide lifesaving assistance; and persistent violations of international humanitarian law. And behind all of this lies a ready supply of arms and ammunition—the fuel for the fire.
Maldives ratifies 3 international conventions at UN | 29 September 2019 | The Edition
Maldives ratified the UN Arms Trade Treaty, the UN Cluster Munitions Convention and the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on a communications procedure on Sunday.
China going through domestic legal procedures to join the Arms Trade Treaty | 28 September 2019 | Xinhua
China is currently going through the relevant domestic legal procedures as required and striving for its accession to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at an early date, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Saturday.
South Sudan to ratify arms trade treaty in bid to rein in conflicts, crime | 25 September 2019 | Xinhua
South Sudan on Wednesday inked a deal with the Regional Center on Small Arms to strengthen efforts to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and rein in conflicts and violent crime.
Canada Implements New Export Brokering Controls to Join the UN Arms Trade Treaty | 19 September 2019 | Bennett Jones LLP
On September 17, 2019, Canada formally became a party to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an international treaty that aims to regulate trade of conventional arms, including small arms, battle tanks, missiles, and warships.
Sierra Leone: SLANSA, Others Demand Full Implementation of ATT | 16 September 2019 | Concord Times (Freetown) | AllAfrica
At the just concluded annual fifth Conference of State Parties (CSP5) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in which the Sierra Leone Action Network (SLANSA) fully participated, civil society organisations across the world urged States Parties to increase their efforts toward the robust implementation and universalization of the ATT.
Canada becomes a State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty | 3 September 2019 | Borden Ladner Gervais LLP | Lexology
Canada will become a State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on September 17, 2019. The legislative and regulatory changes giving effect to Canada’s ascension to the ATT came into force on September 1, 2019. Changes include amending the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA), new regulations related to arms brokering, and the creation of a new group on Canada’s Export Control List (ECL), Group 9 – Arms Trade Treaty.
East Africa: States Drag Their Feet in Signing Arms Treaty | 1 September 2019 | The East African | AllAfrica
As the proliferation of small arms in the region raises concerns over their devastating effect on civilian population, governments have on the other hand been dragging their feet in ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty.
HUMAN RIGHTS / INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
Trump Boasts of War Crimes in Public, Nobody Believes Him | 28 October 2019 | Intelligencer
Over the last two and a half years, the once-vast space between Donald Trump’s authoritarian vision of the presidency and the effective powers at his disposal has slowly collapsed. Trump used to wistfully pine for an Attorney General who would protect the president’s personal interests and even cover up his actual crimes, and now he has William Barr. He used to call for American foreign policy as a weapon of plunder, and now he tells the country he has done exactly that.
Erdogan should be prosecuted over Syrian offensive – ex-U.N. investigator del Ponte | 26 October 2019 | Reuters
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan should be investigated and indicted for war crimes over his country’s military offensive in Syria, former prosecutor and U.N. investigator Carla del Ponte said in an interview published on Saturday.
“Vendre des armes à l’Arabie saoudite pour bombarder le Yémen est contraire au droit international” | 30 September 2019 | Eric David, Benoît Muracciole, Daniel Turp | Le Monde
Depuis peu, la justice de certains Etats (Royaume-Uni, Belgique, France et Canada) a été saisie de recours sur la légalité des transferts d’armes vers de la coalition de pays dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite et les Emirats arabes unis. Cette guerre qui affecte une population de 27 millions de personnes a donné lieu à des crimes de guerre commis par toutes les parties au conflit.
Une nouvelle procédure pour faire cesser l’exportation d’armes vers l’Arabie saoudite | 16 September 2019 | Daniel Turp | Le Devoir
Le mardi 17 septembre 2019, trois mois après le dépôt de son instrument d’adhésion auprès du Secrétaire général des Nations unies, le Canada deviendra le 105e État partie au Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA), adopté le 2 avril 2013 et entré en vigueur le 24 décembre 2014.
Arms companies failing to carry out due diligence on human rights | 9 September 2019 | Middle East Eye
Leading arms companies are not undertaking due diligence with regards to potential human rights abuses, a new report by Amnesty International has revealed. According to the rights group’s new report Outsourcing Responsibility, companies including Airbus, BAE Systems and Raytheon have been failing to meet their responsibilities in accessing the risk of their products being used in conflicts where human rights abuses could occur.
Report of the International Law Commission (Advance unofficial version) (A/74/10) | September 2019 | United Nations General Assembly
The International Law Commission held the first part of its seventy-first session from 29 April to 7 June 2019 and the second part from 8 July to 9 August 2019 at its seat at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Nigeria confirms order for a dozen Mi-35 helicopters from Russia | 24 October 2019 | DefenceWeb
Russia and Nigeria have confirmed a contract for the delivery of 12 Mi-35 attack helicopters, with six having already been delivered.
Zuma to stand trial on corruption charges relating to $2.5bn arms deal | 11 October 2019 | The Guardian
The former South African president Jacob Zuma will stand trial on corruption charges relating to a $2.5bn (£1.98bn) arms deal after a high court denied him a permanent stay of prosecution.
Ethiopia seizes large illegal weapons in sting operation | 6 October 2019 | Xinhua
Ethiopian security forces have seized 2,221 handguns and 71 Kalashnikov rifles during in a sting operation, state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) reported on Sunday.
Interview avec la secrétaire permanente de lutte contre la prolifération des armes légères et de petits calibres, le colonel-major Nema Sagara | 5 October 2019 | Aujourd’hui-Mali | Maliweb.net
Dans cette interview que nous a accordée la Secrétaire Permanente de lutte contre la prolifération des armes légères et de petits calibres, le colonel-major Néma Sagara, elle évoque la place et le rôle de la lutte contre la prolifération des armes légères dans la quête de la paix et la stabilité pour le Mali.
La Guinée a ratifié un traité sur le commerce illicite des armes | 5 October 2019 | Alternative Guinée
Les armes ne doivent plus être une source de déstabilisation de nos États à plus forte raison un outil de répression contre des populations civiles en Afrique.
Small Arms Commission To Assign Codes To Firearms | 27 September 2019 | Daily Graphic (Ghana)
The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW) will, from Tuesday, October 1, this year, start assigning unique codes to all firearms in the country to enable easy identification, traceability and accountability.
Nigerian army using 40 year-old weapons to fight Boko Haram | 23 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Nigerian soldiers deployed to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East are using outdated weapons and equipment, including Shilka air defense systems purchased between 1979 and 1983, PM News reports.
Crise anglophone : le double jeu de la France dévoilé | 21 September 2019 | Actu Cameroun
Depuis le déclenchement de la crise en 2016, la France aurait livré de nombreuses armes de haute qualité au Cameroun. Des transactions qui étaient pour certaines, financées par les États-Unis.
Liberia’s war criminals may finally face the music at home | 20 September 2019 | ISS | DefenceWeb
Last week, Liberian President George Weah asked the country’s legislature to establish the Extraordinary Criminal Court to try the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity of two civil wars (1989-96 and 1999-2003). This was widely welcomed.
The Taking of South Sudan. The Tycoons, Brokers, and Multinational Corporations Complicit in Hijacking the World’s Newest Nation | 19 September 2019 | The Sentry
The Sentry’s investigation exposes an array of international actors who stand to profit from the U.S., UK, Asia and elsewhere, the looting of state assets, and reveals one of the biggest companies in the world providing direct support to deadly militias. Our report details the carving up for private profit of the most lucrative economic and government sectors in the world’s youngest nation. Meanwhile, the South Sudanese people starved, were killed, and were run off their homelands.
Kenyan MD530Fs to be delivered by year-end | 18 September 2019 | DefenceWeb
The Kenyan military will receive six MD530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters by the end of this year, with training and support contracts having just been awarded.
French AML 90 turret on U.S. Cougar MRAP in Djibouti military parade | 18 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Along with other interesting local conversions made in Djibouti as well as in other countries of the region, at least one U.S.-made Cougar MRAP has been spotted with a French-made AML-90 turret, an old device that nevertheless demonstrates the persistent efficiency of this type of armament for local use.
Statement of the Chairperson and Members of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, at the 42nd Human Rights Council session | 16 September 2019 | UN Human Rights Council | ReliefWeb
This Commission has documented how, since 2013, humanitarian workers have been prevented by the Government and the opposition from delivering aid to civilians and have had their stores looted and been taxed illegally. The starvation in South Sudan is neither random, nor accidental. It has been part of a deliberate strategy on the part of the warring parties to target civilians in acts that may amount to war crimes.
Leaked document says Russians are repairing Libyan National Army’s heavy equipment | 13 September 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Russia’s Wagner Mercenaries Have Moved Into Libya. Good Luck With That | 13 September 2019 | The Daily Beast
Russian technicians are supporting the Libyan National Army (LNA), the powerful faction led by former general Khalifa Haftar, by repairing its Soviet-supplied armoured fighting vehicles and artillery, according to a leaked document released by the Russian investigative news website Proekt on 12 September as part of a joint investigation with The Daily Beast and The Dossier.
South African crime comparable to low intensity civil war | 13 September 2019 | DefenceWeb
Crime levels in South Africa have reached the stage of a low intensity civil war, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said following the release of national crime statistics by Police Minister Bheki Cele this week.
Morocco requests huge weapons and ammunition sale from the US | 13 September 2019 | DefenceWeb
Morocco has requested the sale of ammunition and weapons worth nearly a billion dollars from the United States, including anti-tank missiles and armament for its F-16 fighters.
Security Council Sanctions Committee Concerning South Sudan Meets with Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict | 13 September 2019 | UN Office of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict | ReliefWeb
During its informal consultations on 21 August 2019, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan was briefed by Ms. Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Ms. Patten noted that despite the adoption of clear provisions in the revitalized peace agreement calling for an end to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, such violence continued unabated in South Sudan and is widely used to humiliate both victims and their entire communities, with political and ethnic undertones, in a climate of near-total impunity.
Algeria orders more Su-30, MiG-29 fighters from Russia | 12 September 2019 | DefenceWeb
The Algerian Air Force will be receiving additional Su-30MKA and MiG-29M/M2 fighters from Russia after contracts worth nearly $2 billion were signed.
New Mali law risks giving rise to impunity for many past human rights violations, says UN expert | 10 September 2019 | UN Human Rights Council | ReliefWeb
I encourage the authorities in Mali to promptly revise the country’s new law of “national understanding” which if left unaltered may prevent victims of many serious human rights violations getting fair and equitable justice, says the UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the country, Alioune Tine.
Armored Vehicles Top South African Arms Exports | 10 September 2019 | Defence & Security Monitor
The National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), a government agency overseeing South Africa’s arms trade, said in its first quarter 2019 report that between January 1 and March 31, 38 locally made armored combat vehicles were delivered abroad to four customers. Mali purchased 19 vehicles at a cost of ZAR55 million, while Saudi Arabia acquired 15 vehicles, the U.S. procured three, and the UAE acquired one.
Human rights situation and the activities of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/42/32) (pdf) | 10 September 2019 | OHCHR | ReliefWeb
Many violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms were committed during the electoral process. The High Commissioner finds it regrettable that, even though the two joint commissions set up to investigate the violations committed during protests that took place between 2016 and 2018 published reports in June 2018, no judicial action has been taken with regard to the violations documented.
How Israel is sowing the seeds of war in South Sudan | 6 September 2019 | Middle East Monitor
In 2015 – two years after a devastating civil war broke out in South Sudan that pushed millions to the brink of starvation – the South Sudan government launched a multi-million dollar agricultural project called Green Horizon. The aim of the project was to develop farms so that South Sudan could feed its people and produce surplus for export.
Police killings: We need stricter gun laws – Center for Defence and Security | 5 September 2019 | starrfm.com.gh | GhanaWeb
The Center for Defence and Security has called on government to expedite action on reviewing the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1972, introduce stricter laws on gun importation, gun distribution and civilian gun ownership. “This will make our gun laws compliance with contemporary laws and international treaties that Ghana is party to such as the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT),” the Center said in a press statement Tuesday.
Morocco buys Ukrainian Bukovel AD counter drone system | 5 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (FAR) have acquired a counter-drone system named Bukovel-AD, designed by the Ukranian company Proximus.
Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi 2019 (A/HRC/42/49) | 4 September 2019 | OHCHR
Serious human rights violations have continued to be committed in Burundi since May 2018, in a general climate of impunity. Some of these violations constitute international crimes. Members of the youth league of the ruling party, the Imbonerakure, are the main perpetrators. Officers of the National Intelligence Service and the police, along with local administrative officials, are also frequently identified as perpetrators of such violations.
USA offers 50 military trucks to Morocco | 4 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
The US has delivered 50 military vehicles and trucks to Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (FAR) which commented that this delivery was the first phase of a broader agreement involving the shipment of 100 military vehicles and tactical transportation trucks. The second phase is expected to take place “in the coming weeks”, Morocco World News comments.
Burkina Faso acquires Shrek-M vehicles from Ukraine | 29 August 2019 | DefenceWeb
Burkina Faso’s military has taken delivery of several Shrek-M mine detection and disposal vehicles from Ukraine’s AutoKrAZ. Three vehicles were delivered in June this year, according to Ukrainian media reports, via Ukroboronservice, which is part of state-owned arms trading company Ukrspecexport.
Arms sales are about profit and politics, not ethics | 31 October 2019 | OpenDemocracy
Western governments were quick to express their outrage at Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria to clear it of Kurds, resulting in the displacement of more than 275,000. Ten countries—including the United States, which ignited the crisis to begin with by withdrawing its troops to facilitate the invasion—announced an arms embargo as punishment for Turkey’s aggression. The United States, the largest arms exporter to the pariah du jour, just as quickly revoked its ban as soon as a ceasefire took effect—after, of course, Turkey achieved its goals.
US House lawmakers take aim at Turkey with their own sanctions bill | 30 October 2019 | freightwaves
U.S. House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation to impose stiff economic sanctions against Turkey’s political and defense leadership for the country’s recent military incursion into northern Syria.
How the United States can ensure American weapons aren’t used for human rights abuses | 17 October 2019 | Stimson Center | Military Times
On Oct. 9, as bombs fell across northeastern Syria and civilian life came to a halt, two U.S. allies went to war. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the operation as an effort to “neutralize terror threats against Turkey” and root out Kurdish forces — forces that have been stalwart partners for the U.S. military and have been crucial in the counter-ISIS campaign. To add insult to injury, Turkey is using American weapons against Syrian Kurds, which could be in violation of the terms of arms sale agreements and challenge future U.S. arms transfers to Ankara.
US Government Adds 28 Chinese Entities Associated with Human Rights Violations and Abuses | 14 October 2019 | Baker McKenzie LLP
On October 9, 2019, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) added 28 Chinese entities to the Entity List because they are accused by the US Government of being associated with human rights violations and abuses against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinijiang Uighur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”). All exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of items (i.e., goods, software, technology) subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), including EAR99 items, are now subject to a license requirement to such entities. The final rule also includes an extensive list of aliases for these entities.
Navigating The Recent U.S. Sanctions On COSCO (Dalian) And Other Chinese Companies | 14 October 2019 | Holland & Knight LLP | Mondaq
The recent designation of COSCO’s energy subsidiary and other Chinese companies as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) creates enormous challenges for the international shipping industry.
State Department Proposes New Guidelines for the Export of Surveillance Technology Aimed at Addressing Human Rights Concerns | 11 October 2019 | Torres Law PLLC
Should human rights concerns be a consideration for exporters engaged in international trade? New draft guidance proposed by the U.S. Department of State aims to provide a potential roadmap for tackling this issue.
Top Senator And Trump Ally Pushes For Arms Embargo On Turkey After Syria Invasion Begins | 9 October 2019 | The Drive
Senator Lidnsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and major political ally of President Donald Trump, has called for an arms embargo and host of other sanctions against Turkey is newly proposed piece of legislation. The draft bill came just hours after Turkish forces, and local partners, launched a new operation into northeastern Syria primarily targeting the U.S.-backed predominantly Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces, or SDF. On Sunday, Trump had given tacit approval to this military intervention, which risks creating all-new conflicts in the region and leading to a humanitarian disaster, as noted in The War Zone previous in-depth analysis of the situation.
The Coveted, Overpriced Missile at the Heart of Trump’s Ukraine Scandal | 4 October 2019 | The New Republic
However narrow the managers may try to make it, the impeachment inquiry that has finally engulfed the presidency of Donald Trump after nearly three years of malfeasance is a scandalous goulash: a bald attempt to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election, to strongarm a foreign leader into cooperation, to retain power at all costs. But at its heart is an American-made missile that, like the Russian AK-47 rifle, has evolved into a powerful symbol of its producer’s geopolitical reach.
America is likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen. It’s time to hold the US to account | 3 October 2019 | Mohamad Bazzi | The Guardian
Since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, the United States gave its full support to a relentless air campaign where Saudi warplanes and bombs hit thousands of targets, including civilian sites and infrastructure, with impunity. From the beginning, US officials insisted that American weapons, training and intelligence assistance would help the Saudis avoid causing even more civilian casualties.
Canada Adopts New Export Controls and Brokering Requirements | 30 September 2019 | McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Ground-breaking changes are now in force impacting Canadian export controls and certain activities abroad regarding export controlled goods and technology.
Colt awarded contract for foreign production of M4 and M4A1 carbines | 20 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC has been awarded a $41,924,594 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales contract (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Hungary, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Palau, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Tunisia) for production for the M4 and M4A1 carbines.
Some Arms Exports Are Riskier Than Others. Here’s a Tool To Tell Which Ones | 18 September 2019 | DefenseOne
The role of arms sales in American foreign policy is often framed as a win-win-win scenario. Administration officials appreciate the flexibility that arms sales provide for diplomacy; they tout weapons deliveries as a way to maintain alliances and create leverage with recipient nations. Allies, in turn, get access to the most technologically advanced weapons without having to create defense industries that compete (too much) with American firms. And the bottom line means that more money flows into American companies that employ skilled American workers. Win. Win. Win.
Advocacy groups call on Canada to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia | 17 September 2019 | Radio Canada International
As Canada formally acceded to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Tuesday, a coalition of Canadian civil society groups is calling on the federal government to cancel its multibillion contract to supply Saudi Arabia with advanced armoured vehicles. The coalition, which includes Amnesty International, Oxfam Quebec and peace group Project Ploughshares among others, calls on Ottawa to “honour the spirit and intent of the ATT” by ending the export of Canadian-manufactured Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) to the oil-rich kingdom.
In Mexico’s Cartel Country, a Murderer Who Kills Murderers Tells His Story | 15 September 2019 | The Daily Beast
The safe house sits on a side street in a barrio that looks out on the well-lit downtown of Guerrero’s state capital and the dark foothills beyond. A late-model pick-up truck is parked in the street, and the surrounding alleys are scrawled with graffiti. It’s just past sunset on a late summer evening and a woman is trudging up the hill with a basket of bread, calling out her wares. Otherwise the street is silent. Then the hit man steps from the shadows behind the parked truck and waves me on toward the safe house.
Heckler & Koch Markets Assault Rifles to Civilians, But Calls Itself “Ethical” | 15 September 2019 | Truth Out
It’s no secret that European weapons makers love the U.S. civilian market. Faced with stricter gun laws and tougher export controls in their own countries, companies like the German Sig Sauer and the Austrian Glock have built reputations for their handgun expertise across the Atlantic.
Restore controls over dangerous gun exports | 10 September 2019 | Willian D. Hartung | The Hill
One of the most ill-advised decisions made by the Trump administration is to transfer oversight of the export of firearms from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. The new policy will make it easier for terrorists, tyrants and criminal gangs to get access to U.S.-made semi-automatic pistols, assault-style firearms, sniper rifles and ammunition. To add insult to injury, it would also end the practice of notifying Congress of major firearms exports, thereby thwarting its ability to stop dangerous sales.
High velocity | 10 September 2019 | DSEI 2019 | Jane’s
Northrop Grumman, Armament Systems (previously Orbital ATK) (Stand S5-200), is expanding its family of 120mm tank ammunition for use with the M256 smoothbore tank gun installed in the General Dynamics Land Systems M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks, as well as for use in other 120mm smoothbore guns, such as the Rheinmetall weapon installed in the Leopard 2 MBT.
The 2019 Arms Sales Risk Index | 10 September 2019 | CATO Institute
The index provides a way to measure the risk involved with arms sales to every nation. To help improve decisionmaking about arms sales we have created the Arms Transfer Risk Index. By identifying the factors linked to negative outcomes, such as dispersion, diversion, and the misuse of weapons by recipients, the index provides a way to measure the risk involved with arms sales to every nation. Although it is by no means an exact science, the index can help policy makers incorporate the potential risks of arms sales and make better decisions about which nations should receive American weapons.
Factory to produce Kalashnikov submachine guns in Venezuela could be ready for 2020-2021 | 2 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
The completion date for the construction of a plant, which will produce the Kalashnikov submachine guns in Venezuela, has been shifted to 2020-2021, Dmitry Shugayev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said on the sidelines of the 14th International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2019.
CIA-Trained ‘Death Squads’ Behind Afghan War Crimes | 31 October 2019 | Voice of America
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says CIA-backed Afghan paramilitary forces have “committed summary executions and other grave abuses without accountability” — including extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and attacks on health-care facilities.
Turkish forces commit war crimes in Syria offensive – fresh evidence | 18 October 2019 | Amnesty International
Indiscriminate Turkish airstrikes and mortar attacks on residential areas, a bakery and school kill numerous civilians, including children. Chilling details of grisly murder of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf. ‘Turkish military forces and their allies have displayed an utterly callous disregard for civilian lives’ – Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
US and EU Authorize New Sanctions Targeting Turkey | 18 October 2019 | Baker McKenzie LLP
On 14 October, the United States and European Union each adopted sanctions measures targeting Turkey, in response to Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria. Subject to certain exceptions discussed further below, the US measures under a new Syria-related Executive Order (“New Syria EO“) took effect immediately and authorize sanctions targeting parties engaging in certain Syria-related activities, the Government of Turkey and Turkish Government officials, and certain sectors of the Turkish economy.
Sanctioned Turkish Ministries Have Worldwide Commercial Ties | 16 October 2019 | KharonBrief
U.S. sanctions on two Turkish government ministries may expose firms engaged in a variety of energy and defense-related businesses worldwide to potential sanctions risk, according to a Kharon review of publicly available records.
Turkey’s Actions Trigger All States’ Obligations to Prosecute War Crimes by Turkish Forces | 15 October 2019 | JustSecurity.org
After President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeast Syria last week, Turkey wasted no time launching an incursion. Its assault on Kurdish forces there has sparked mass displacement and civilian casualties. It also reportedly enabled the escape of hundreds of detained Islamic State fighters, while opening a new front in the Syrian conflict. Increasing reports of war crimes committed at the hands of Turkish troops and their partners in Syria have emerged, including evidence of indiscriminate attacks and the execution of detainees. Considering Kurdish forces’ newly-formed alliance with the Syrian government—poignantly described by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander-in-chief as the only alternative to genocide—Turkish operations in Syria may have also exposed senior Turkish officials to international criminal liability.
Image of destroyed Canada military vehicle used by Saudi reignites debate on arms deals | 4 October 2019 | Middle East Monitor
Footage of Canadian LAVs in Yemen raises new questions about Saudi arms deal | 3 October 2019 | Radio Canada International
After footage was released by Yemen’s Houthi movement following the group’s cross-border operation against Saudi forces, still images began to circulate appearing to show captured or destroyed Canadian-made light armoured vehicles (LAVs).
Israel is trying to hide its arms sales to Duterte’s Philippines | 1 October 2019 | +972
An Israeli court imposed a media blackout on hearings held in September regarding a state sale of weapons to the Philippine regime. The petitioners to halt the sale argued that Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, was credibly accused of having committed mass atrocities, as well as grave violations of human rights and of international law.
The United States’ complicity in Bahrain’s human rights abuses | 30 September 2019 | Allison Pujol | The Michigan Daily
While the United States has stated its commitment to the advancement of human rights abroad for decades, the historical record often indicates otherwise. Much has been written about the United States’s desire to continue providing military technology to and from Saudi Arabia in the wake of Saudi Arabian intervention in Yemen. However, little attention has been paid to another country that the United States continues to arm despite horrendous human rights abuses: Bahrain.
Britain’s secret Saudi military support programme | 27 September 2019 | Daily Maverick
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has mistakenly admitted for the first time the cost of a secret multibillion-pound programme it manages for the Saudi Arabian royal family’s de facto protection force, which is also active in the devastating war in Yemen.
Israeli Gunmaker IWI Targets US Special Ops Contract ⏐ 23 September 2019 ⏐ Breaking Defense
The Negev can fire over 700 rounds a minute in full-auto — a bit less than the M249 — or, it can be switched to semi-auto for highly accurate single shots. It already comes in 5.56mm and 7.62mm variants, and IWI says it could be easily reconfigured to take different calibers.
Libanon plant Kauf von französischen Rüstungsgütern für Öl-Felder | 20 September 2019 | finanztreff.de
Die libanesische Regierung hat angekündigt, militärische Ausrüstung von Frankreich zur Sicherung von Gas- und Ölfeldern im östlichen Mittelmeerraum kaufen zu wollen. Eine entsprechende Absichtserklärung sei am Freitag in Paris unterschrieben worden, erklärte Libanons Regierungschef Saad Hariri bei einer gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit dem französischen Präsidenten Emmanuel Macron.
Aselsan rolls out Alkar 81 mm mortar | 20 September 2019 | Jane’s International Defence Review
Turkish company Aselsan has completed development of its latest Alkar 81 mm mortar weapon system (MWS) using internal research and development funding. The company said production can begin as soon as orders are placed.
Navistar Defense awarded contract for foreign sale of cargo and wrecker trucks to Iraq | 20 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Navistar Defense LLC, Lisle, Illinois, was awarded a $19,847,322 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract for cargo trucks (6×6 General Transport Trucks, 6×6 Ton Recovery Wrecker and GTT spares).
Vietnam upgrades Soviet-made weapon systems | 19 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s defense industry is investing in the modernization of Vietnam’s People Army’s (VPA’s) Soviet-made weapon systems, according to Russian and Vietnamese media outlets.
Turkmenistan upgrades BTR-80 APC | 19 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Turkmenistan’s army has upgraded several BTR-80 armored personnel carriers (APCs) of its land force. The modernized vehicles were demonstrated during the Turkmen Edermen (‘Valiant Turkman’) exercise of special forces, which was held on September 5.
Blocus maritime au Yémen : la France complice | 18 September 2019 | Amnesty International France
Des vidéos apportent la preuve de l’utilisation au Yémen de navires fabriqués en France | 17 September 2019 | Le Monde
Au Yémen, les populations civiles sont touchées par la famine notamment à cause du blocus maritime imposé par la coalition militaire dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite. Or, l’enquête #FrenchArms vient de prouver que la France se rend complice de ce blocus.
Wing Loong attack drones for Serbia, first Chinese contract in Europe | 18 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
The Serbian army will receive nine Chinese-built Chengdu Pterodactyl-1 armed drones (otherwise named Wing Loong) in the near future. This will be the first time Chinese drones have been bought by a European country. Fifteen additional units may follow, media reports in Belgrade said.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock Briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, 16 September 2019 | 16 September 2019 | OCHA | ReliefWeb
Two weeks ago, air strikes hit a prison in Dhamar governorate. The scale of the carnage in Dhamar is shocking. But otherwise, this kind of attack is disturbingly common and familiar. We see a persistent pattern of attacks in Yemen that kill and injure civilians, or damage critical civilian infrastructure.
MKEK confirms rifle deliveries to Turkish Armed Forces | 13 September 2019 | DSEI 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
More than 40,000 MKEK MPT-55/55K assault rifles have been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces out of an initial order of 70,000, Jane’s has learned on speaking to an MKEK representative at the 2019 DSEI.
Tracked attack | 12 September 2019 | DSEI 2019 | Jane’s
Turkish company Otokar has brought its latest Tulpar tracked combat vehicle to DSEI in the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration, fitted with its Mizrak-30 turret armed with a stabilised Northrop Grumman Armament Systems (previously ATK) 30mm dual-feed cannon and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun (MG).
The Religious Activists Waging a ‘Holy War’ Against Israel’s Arms Exports | 11 September 2019 | Haaretz
The country’s sale of weaponry to murderous regimes goes against all Jewish religious teachings, charge members of No 2 Arms — and they are fighting back. The 40-year-old woman heckling former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is probably the least likely advocate you could imagine calling for restrictions on Israel’s arms sales to morally questionable regimes like Myanmar. Esther Merchavy, an Orthodox mother of six, is not subtle as she wages her war on Israel’s arms industry.
Australia’s arms deals ignoring ‘gross violations of human rights’, ex-defence official says | 7 September 2019 | The Guardian
A former secretary of the Australian defence department says the country cannot justify selling weapons to militaries involved in the five-year war in Yemen, which now stand “accused of gross violations of human rights and likely war crimes by the UN”.
Russia and India will produce jointly AK-203 assault rifles | 7 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Dmitry Shugayev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, has expressed the hope that Russia and India will sign contracts for the joint production of the Kalashnikov assault rifles AK-203 and Ka-226 helicopters before the end of 2019.
India orders USD14.5 billion worth of weapons from Russia | 5 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
India has ordered from Russia a total of $14.5 billion worth of weapons and other military equipment, chief of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said.
Yemen: Collective failure, collective responsibility | 3 September 2019 | UN Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen | OHCHR
Report of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts as submitted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014 – A/HRC/42/17 (pdf) | 3 September 2019 | UN Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen
U.S., France, Britain may be complicit in Yemen war crimes, U.N. report says | 3 September 2019 | Reuters
A UN report on Yemen released on Tuesday details a host of possible war crimes committed by various parties to the conflict over the past five years, including through airstrikes, indiscriminate shelling, snipers, landmines, as well as arbitrary killings and detention, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and the impeding of access to humanitarian aid in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen, created by the UN Human Rights Council, found that the governments of Yemen and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Houthis and affiliated popular committees have enjoyed a “pervasive lack of accountability” for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
Watch Brexit and Big Changes in U.K. Economic Sanctions | 21 October 2019 | Kirkland & Ellis LLP | Bloomberg Law
Uncertainty around Brexit continues, but one thing is clear: With any Brexit event, the U.K. will be free to impose economic sanctions against designated countries, entities, and individuals as it sees fit, writes Kirkland & Ellis partner Anthony Rapa. The unmistakable trend toward a more assertive U.K. in the sanctions context is worthy of close attention, he explains.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Europe’s ‘double standard’ in arms sales | 17 October 2019 | Al Jazeera
Europe’s swift move to ban arms sales to Turkey stands in stark contrast to its reluctance to sanction Saudi Arabia.
Brexit and the Future of Economic Sanctions (pt 1) | 17 October 2019 | Brodies LLP
As we seemingly move closer to exit day (currently fixed for 31 October 2019 at 11pm GMT), and if you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to review what’s been done to prepare the UK’s economic sanctions regime for Brexit. This update is part of a two-part series on the impact of Brexit on economic sanctions and export control matters. The second update provides more information on export control after Brexit .
UK to Halt New Defense Export Licenses to Turkey | 15 October 2019 | Asharq al-Awsat
Britain is to halt new arms export licenses to Turkey as a result of concern over its military operation against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, the foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday.
North East Syria: Council adopts conclusions | 14 October 2019 | Council of the European Union
The Council recalls the 9 October 2019 Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union and urges Turkey again to cease its unilateral military action in North East Syria and to withdraw its forces.
Opposition kritisiert Maas’ Vorstoß | 13 October 2019 | Tagesschau
“Ungenügend und zu spät” – der Plan der Regierung, Rüstungsexporte an die Türkei einzuschränken, stößt in der Opposition auf Kritik. Stattdessen solle der wirtschaftliche Druck erhöht werden.
Norway Stops Military Equipment Exports to Fellow NATO Member Turkey Over Syria Offensive | 11 October 2019 | Sputnik News
Oslo has followed Helsinki’s lead in putting a halt to new military exports to Ankara following its military operation in Syria, which has left its NATO allies divided.
Nederland schort wapenexport Turkije op [Netherlands suspends arms transfers to Turkey] | 11 October 2019 | Algemeen Dagblad
Nederland schort de wapenexport naar Turkije op. Zolang het land bezig is met een militaire operatie in Noord-Syrië zullen geen exportvergunningen worden afgegeven.
EU to Discuss Sanctions, Turkey’s NATO Membership, France Says | 11 October 2019 | Bloomberg
Sanctions against Turkey will be debated next week at the European Union leaders’ meeting, France’s EU affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin said.
Vlaamse regering schort beslissingen over militair materieel voor Turkije op [Flemish government suspends arms transfers to Turkey] | 10 October 2019 | Sceptr
Vlaanderen zal aan Turkije voorlopig geen goederen leveren die voor militaire doelen kunnen worden gebruikt, zo communiceert Vlaams minister-president Jan Jambon (N-VA). “Wij zullen zolang het conflict daar duurt, die dossiers zeker niet goedkeuren zodanig dat er zeker geen leveringen vanuit Vlaanderen naar Turkije gaan”, citeert VRT NWS Jambon.
Finland Halts Arms Exports to Turkey, Condemns Military Operation in Syria | 10 October 2019 | Sputnik News
According to Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, Turkey’s actions have exacerbated the already-complicated humanitarian situation in Syria and could potentially spark a new refugee crisis. Finland’s centre-left government, led by the Social Democrats, has condemned the Turkish offensive in Syria, pledging to stop all arms exports to Ankara.
Swedish Foreign Minister Favors EU Imposing Arms Embargo On Turkey Amid Operation In Syria | 10 October 2019 | UrduPoint News
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Thursday that the European Union should ban arms supplies to Turkey amid its military operation in northeastern Syria.
Neue Rüstungsexportrichtlinien – alte Regelungslücken. Internationalisierung – Technik- unterstützung – Europäisierung (pdf) | October 2019 | Ausdruck | Informationsstelle Militarisierung e.V.
Regelmäßig brüsten sich deutsche Bundesregierungen damit, eine „restriktive Rüstungsexportpolitik“ zu verfolgen. Und tat- sächlich gehören die deutschen Regelungen auf dem Papier zu den strengsten der Welt – es besteht allerdings ein erhebliches Missverhältnis zwischen den proklamierten Grundsätzen und der Praxis.
Exportations d’armes : 7.030 dossiers examinés en un an par la France ! | 8 October 2019 | La Tribune
D’août 2018 à juillet 2019, la Commission interministérielle d’étude de l’exportation des matériels de guerre a examiné 7.030 dossiers, en hausse de 11 % par rapport à la période précédente.
Deutsche Rüstungsexporte steuern auf Rekordmarke zu | 7 October 2019 | Wirtschaftswoche
Zwei Jahre lang gingen die Genehmigungen für Rüstungsexporte zurück. Jetzt zeigt die Kurve wieder steil nach oben – trotz verschärfter Richtlinien.
Revising the EU Dual-use Regulation: Challenges and opportunities for the trilogue process | 7 October 2019 | SIPRI
The 2009 EU Dual-use Regulation (Council Regulation 428/2009) creates a common legal basis for European Union (EU) member states’ controls on the trade in ‘dual-use items’ (i.e. goods, materials and technologies that may be used for both civilian and military purposes) and is a crucial component of global non-proliferation efforts. In 2011 the European Commission launched a review of the regulation and in September 2016 published a proposal for a new version of its text.
Bundesregierung erlaubt Waffenlieferung an Emirate | 4 October 2019 | Zeit Online
Heikler Rüstungsexport an Emirate | 4 October 2019 | Tagesschau
Die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate erhalten Aggregate, die in Luftabwehrsystemen genutzt werden. Der Export ist heikel, weil das Land in den Jemenkrieg verstrickt ist.
Ventes d’armes françaises au Yémen: un lanceur d’alerte convoqué à la DGSI | 3 October 2019 | SputnikNews
Benoît Muracciole a été convoqué par la DGSI pour «compromission du secret de défense nationale». En cause, des documents que son ONG, ASER, a utilisés dans le cadre d’une plainte contre la France pour ses ventes d’armes aux belligérants du conflit yéménite. Sputnik l’a rencontré au sortir de son audition.
Yémen/ventes d’armes: 14 ONG dénoncent la convocation par la DGSI de l’ONG ASER | 30 September 2019 | Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (ACAT-France)
Benoît Muracciole, président d’Action Sécurité Ethique Républicaines (ASER), est convoqué par la direction générale de la sécurité intérieure (DGSI) le 2 octobre prochain, en raison d’une suspicion “d’avoir commis ou tenté de commettre l’infraction de compromission du secret de défense nationale.”
“Yémen Papers” | 27 September 2019 | Amnesty International France
Réagissant à la convocation de Benoit Muracciole, président de l’association Aser, Cécile Coudriou présidente d’Amnesty International France, a déclaré : “Nous nous inquiétons de la convocation, le 2 octobre prochain, de Benoit Muracciole, président de l’association Aser, devant la DGSI pour atteinte au secret de la défense nationale. Celle-ci s’inscrit dans la suite des auditions iniques d’au moins huit journalistes, entendus dans le cadre d’une enquête pour atteinte au secret de la défense nationale entre février et juillet dernier.”
Ces matériels militaires français qui bafouent les droits de l’Homme | 21 September 2019 | France Inter
En quelques années, la France est devenue le troisième pays exportateur d’armes au monde. Cette performance repose notamment sur des contrats passés avec des États qui utilisent ces équipements français pour réprimer la population civile ou commettre des crimes de guerre.
Wie die Rüstungsindustrie gegen den Exportstopp argumentiert | 20 September 2019 | produktion.de
Norway receives its first K9 self-propelled howitzer | 20 September 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Norway’s Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) announced on its website on 19 September that it had received its first K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) from Hanwha Defense during a ceremony in South Korea.
Portugal presents weapons purchased from FN Herstal | 20 September 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
The Portuguese Army has formally unveiled small arms that it purchased from FN Herstal through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) for EUR42.8 million (USD47.3 million).
Les ventes d’armes de la France devant la Cour administrative d’appel de Paris | 18 September 2019 | Action Sécurité Ethique Républicaines
L’association Action Sécurité Ethique Républicaines (ASER), suivie par l’Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (ACAT-France) et rejointe par Médecins du Monde (MdM), Salam for Yémen, Action contre la faim et Sherpa décident de faire appel du jugement en première instance du tribunal administratif de Paris afin d’obtenir la suspension des exportations d’armes françaises vers les pays de la Coalition impliqués dans la guerre au Yémen.
German arms export freeze on Saudi Arabia extended | 18 September 2019 | DW
Germany has extended its arms export moratorium on Saudi Arabia by 6 months. If parliament agrees, cabinet also plans to extend a Bundeswehr training mission in Iraq and reconnaissance flights tracking IS in Syria.
Tory minister apologises for ‘accidentally’ approving illegal sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia | 17 September 2019 | The Independent
Written Q&A To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she plans to take to ensure that her Department does not violate the court order on banning the issuing of new export licences to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners for arm | 25 September 2019 | Parliament (UK)
The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in the Yemen conflict. Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, admitted the government approved two licences for military equipment which could be used in the civil war.
Control of arms export: Council adopts conclusions, new decision updating the EU’s common rules and a revised user’s guide | 16 September 2019 | The European Council
The Council today adopted a decision amending the Council Common Position of 8 December 2008 on the control of arms exports, as well as a revised user’s guide. It also adopted conclusions on the review of the Common Position.
Flanders at the vanguard of review of EU instrument on arms exports | 16 September 2019 | Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs
On 16 September, the Council of the EU approved the revision of the Common Position on Arms Exports 2008/944/CFSP, the EU’s main instrument on arms exports. It is the first time that the text, which was adopted in 2008, has been changed. Belgium and Flanders also proposed to strengthen the assessment criteria on human rights and diversion of weapons to unauthorized users. This was important for Flanders, because its own Arms Trade Act already contains stricter criteria. However, the Belgian proposals found no consensus.
European Court of Auditors report criticises EU defence ambitions | 13 September 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
A new report by the European Court of Auditors (CoA) slams the European Commission’s policy goals and funding for defence capability development, warning that the EU’s resources, planning structures, and alignment of its ambitions with those at national level fall far short of the mark.
Ammunition advance | 12 September 2019 | DSEI 2019 | Jane’s
FN Herstal is exhibiting new small-calibre ammunitions that have been developed in response to emerging trends, including four new cartridges in the 5.56 and .50 calibre ranges.
Greece investigates weapons missing from island navy base | 11 September 2019 | Reuters
Greece has launched an investigation after an inspection revealed that weapons were missing from a navy facility on the Aegean island of Leros, its government spokesman said on Wednesday.
Meeting the arms dealers with killer sales targets | 11 September 2019 | Al Jazeera
The opening day of the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in London saw the UK government award a major contract to an Israeli firm linked to atrocities committed against Palestinians in Gaza.
Wallonia exported 46 million euros worth of arms to Saudi Arabia | 11 September 2019 | Patch
In the first quarter of 2019, arms exports from the Walloon Region to Saudi Arabia amounted to 45.970 million euros. As for exports to Canada of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, armed or not and their parts, they amounted to 179.748 million euros, according to figures cited in the report of the Walloon Weapons Observatory.
Gouvernement wallon: les associations de défense des droits humains mitigées sur le commerce des armes | 11 September 2019 | Le Soir
Le conseiller juridique auprès de la LDH applaudit le respect du décret wallon de 2012, mais déplorent que cela ne s’applique pas aux licences d’exportation d’armes déjà octroyées.
Bulgarian arms exports total USD844.3 million in 2018 | 10 September 2019 | Jane’s Defence Industry
Bulgarian arms exports reached USD844.3 million in 2018, according to the Ministry of Economy’s Intergovernmental Export Commission, the country’s arms export control body, which submitted its annual report to the Bulgarian Parliament for review on 9 September.
Human rights groups protest as world arms fair returns to London | 9 September 2019 | The Guardian
Europe’s biggest arms fair begins in London’s Docklands on Tuesday with 35,000 delegates and exhibitors expected to descend on the Excel centre for the controversial biennial trade show, which has become a focus for protestors.
Europe’s arms for Yemen’s war | 6 September 2019 | Le Monde diplomatique
Europe is still an important supplier of arms to Yemen, despite attempts to ban their export after growing unease at the deaths and injuries. And now Saudi Arabia and UAE are producing arms locally with European help.
Exported Russian arms more and more successful in local conflicts | 6 September 2019 | ArmyRecognition
Soviet weapons which were supplied to nearly half of the world countries were actively engaged in dozens of wars and conflicts of the 20th century. Even after the Soviet collapse, many countries, even US allies, prefer to buy Russian arms. It is confirmed by arms trade statistics which put Russia second after the United States, the Army Standard writes.
ZMT offers UKM-2000PE machine gun to Norway | 6 September 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów (ZMT) unveiled the final export version of the second generation UKM-2000PE machine gun at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO being held in Kielce, Poland, from 3-6 September.
Il est rouge, le rouleau compresseur | 5 September 2019 | Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique (FGTB)
Menaces sur l’emploi dans le secteur de la défense | 3 September 2019 | Setca Liège
Ce mardi 3 septembre, plusieurs centaines de travailleuses et travailleurs des entreprises wallonnes actives au sein de la défense, dont la Fabrique Nationale et John Cockerill, ont manifesté dans les rues de Namur afin d’obtenir des réponses claires sur l’avenir de leur secteur, dont la pérennité a été récemment remise en question au cours des tractations politiques en vue de former le prochain gouvernement wallon.
Le prochain gouvernement doit choisir entre ventes d’armes et emplois | 4 September 2019 | Moustique
La question des exportations d’armes est au cœur des débats pour former une majorité en Wallonie. Craignant des licenciements, les syndicats se font entendre. Entre emplois et armement de dictatures, le choix est cornélien…
Alors que les négociations continuent en Wallonie entre le PS, Ecolo et le MR, l’Union wallonne des entreprises fait monter la pression d’un cran. Son administrateur délégué, Olivier De Wasseige, interpelle aujourd’hui les écologistes pour qui les entreprises liégeoises FN et John Cockerill (ex-CMI) doivent cesser leur commerce avec l’Arabie saoudite, le plus gros client de fabricant d’armes wallonnes. Olivier De Wasseige prévient: arrêter leurs activités conduira à la suppression de milliers d’emplois en Belgique.
Weitere Rüstungsexporte in Krisengebiete genehmigt | 3 September 2019 | FAZ
Die Bundesregierung hat wieder Rüstungsexporte in Krisengebiete genehmigt. Wie aus einem am Dienstag bekannt gewordenen Schreiben von Bundeswirtschaftsminister Peter Altmaier (CDU) an den Bundestagsausschuss für Wirtschaft und Energie hervorgeht, das der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur vorliegt, gehören Algerien und Indien zu den Empfängerländern der jüngst erteilten Ausfuhrgenehmigungen.