Arms Trade Bulletin November – December 2019

THE CASE FOR ON-SITE INSPECTIONS

South Africa has decided to block arms exports to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Algeria after these countries refused to allow South African officials to inspect their facilities to verify compliance with the South African National Conventional Arms Control Act and South African National Conventional Arms Control Regulations. The clause in the end-use certificate which caused this dispute states the following: “The Consignee/Buyer grants access and permission to South African Government Authority’s representative(s) to visit the stated facilities so as to verify the end user and end use of and compliance with the above stated stipulations”. The on-site inspections are allegedly refused by Saudi Arabia and UAE on the ground that these inspections are considered a violation of their sovereignty.

But when these countries procure defence equipment from the United States they also have to allow on-site inspections. The United States maintains three end-use monitoring programs by law: the Department of State’s Blue Lantern (for Direct Commercial Sales), the Department of Defense’s Golden Sentry (for Foreign Military Sales), and the program by the Department of Commerce (for dual-use items). These programs may include on-site inspections on a case by case basis. The Golden Sentry program includes Routine End Use Monitoring and Enhanced End Use Monitoring. The EEUM is used for highly sensitive defence equipment like for instance Stinger missiles, anti-tank missiles, and night-vision equipment. The EEUM designated equipment inventory of the recipient is verified by serial number on an annual basis through planned and coordinated visits. It should be noted that the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies recommends that the end-use/user certificate includes an agreement by the importer/end user to allow on-site verification. South Africa is a Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement.

That the South African government is weary for diversion by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of the supplied weapons is not without cause. In February 2019 Amnesty International accused the UAE to have supplied Yemeni militia with Western arms. While CNN accused Saudi Arabia and UAE of having armed al Qaeda and Salafi militias with American made weapons. In a follow-up report published in October CNN again accused the UAE of having armed Yemeni militia with American military equipment. In November Al Jazeera reported to have seen a draft report of the UN Panel of Experts on Libya. In their report, published on 6 December (S/2019/914), the Panel of Experts found that Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the Haftar Affiliated Forces were in repeated non-compliance with the UN arms embargo imposed upon Libya. The New York Times reported that US-made anti-tank missiles were found in the possession of Haftar Affiliated Forces, which were sold to the UAE in 2008. Also Turkey and the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord were found to be in non-compliance with the UN arms embargo. The Panel of Experts reported that “in response to the illicit transfers by Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, GNA approached Turkey, who soon supplied GNA-AF with military materiel”. The UAE also stands accused of having broken the UN arms embargo against Somalia (S/2017/924, S/2018/1002, and S/2019/858).

Meanwhile one of South Africa’s trade unions, Solidarity, objects against the inclusion of said clause in the end-user certificates claiming that jobs might be at risk. In a press statement it is said: “Several legal opinions indicate that the inspections clause of the end-user certificate is illegal and obstructive in nature and is in fact not contained in the NCACA itself, but only in the wording of the certificate.” It should be noted that the National Conventional Arms Control Act 2002 makes provision for the “Minister may make regulations… regarding… matters which must be contained in an end-user certificate”. Annexure B of the National Conventional Arms Control Regulations 2012 does just that which includes a clause whereby the recipient/end-user agrees with on-site verification of the controlled items by an inspector designated by the Minister.

It is our opinion that on-site verification on a case by case basis is good practice to avoid possible diversion of defence equipment.

 

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

ICC must investigate arms company executives linked to Yemen war crimes allegations | 12 December 2019 | Amnesty International

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) must investigate the role of executives of European arms companies and licensing officials in violations of international humanitarian law that could amount to war crimes in Yemen, Amnesty International said today, as it joined the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in an official request to the ICC.

The Rome Statute’s Flawed Amendment Regime — Starvation in NIAC Edition | 7 December 2019 | Opinio Juris

On Friday, the Assembly of States Parties unanimously adopted a Swiss proposal to extend the war crime of starvation to non-international armed conflict (NIAC). Previously, for reasons that seem to be largely accidental, the war crime only applied in international armed conflict (IAC).

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law | 18 November 2019 | UN News

A presidential pardon for two United States soldiers accused of war crimes, and a sentence reduction for a third, “run against the letter and the spirit of international law which requires accountability for such violations”, the United Nations human rights wing said on Tuesday.

International Criminal Court may investigate UK ‘war crimes cover-up’ | 18 November 2019 | BBC

The International Criminal Court could open its first investigation into the British military following a BBC programme about alleged war crimes.

UK government and military accused of war crimes cover-up | 17 November 2019 | BBC

The UK government and armed forces have been accused of covering up the killing of civilians by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. An investigation by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times has spoken to 11 British detectives who said they found credible evidence of war crimes.

Turkey’s dirty war | 13 November 2019 | New Statesman

The Turkish bombardment of northern Syria has left casualties suffering from horrific burns injuries, probably from the illegal use of incendiary weapons. So why is the international community not investigating?

Standing Firm against Incendiary Weapons | 11 November 2019 | Human Rights Watch

Ten years ago, images of white phosphorus munitions raining fire on populated areas of Gaza generated international outrage and sparked discussions of incendiary weapons at the United Nations. The Israel Defense Forces’ use of white phosphorus in January 2009 caused civilian casualties and damaged civilian structures, including a school, market, humanitarian aid warehouse, and hospital.1 At the following year’s Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), several states condemned the attacks and highlighted the shortcomings of CCW Protocol III, which governs incendiary weapons.2 Since then, as use of incendiary weapons has spread to other conflicts, including in Syria and Ukraine, calls to review the protocol’s adequacy and strengthen its humanitarian protections have increased.

The United States should drop its opposition to a killer robot treaty | 7 November 2019 | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Landmines, cluster munitions, incendiary weapons, blinding lasers, exploding bullets, and much more: The list of weapons banned or regulated by international humanitarian law has grown steadily over the past 150 years. If an international campaign of civil society organizations—supported by about two dozen countries and growing—is successful, there could soon be another to add: autonomous weapons.

‘Violence, atrocities and impunity’ reign throughout Libya, ICC prosecutor tells UN Security Council | 6 November 2019 | UN News

Libya remains entangled in a “cycle of violence, atrocities and impunity”, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the UN Security Council on Wednesday, nearly a decade since the Court began its work in the country.

Upholding International Humanitarian Law in Times of Armed Violence | 5 November 2019 | Association of World Citizens | IDN InDepthNews

The entry of Turkish troops into what they call a “safe zone” on the frontier of Turkey and northeast Syria and especially the actions of Turkish-backed Syrian militias has raised in a dramatic way the issue of respect of international humanitarian law. Regular military personnel of all countries are theoretically informed of the rules of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 and the Protocol Additional adopted in 1977.

The law of war and its Uncertainties | 30 October 2019 | Modern Diplomacy

International Humanitarian law (IHL) is designed to be universal, the two Additional Protocols of the four Geneva Conventions do not enjoy the same support as the main texts of the Conventions, given that some major States such as the United States, Iran, India, Israel and Pakistan have not ratified the Protocol I. Also, some conflict-prone States such as Myanmar and Nepal declined to sign and ratify the Protocol II.

AFRICA

Theft of military weapons first made public by shadow defence minister | 2 January 2020 | Defence Web

The public spiritedness of a Democratic Alliance (DA) MP in revealing the theft of assault rifles from a Lyttelton, Centurion, military base was almost grudgingly admitted by the senior communications official in the Department of Defence (DoD).

In strategic Djibouti, a microcosm of China’s growing foothold in Africa | 30 December 2019 | The Washington Post

Above ground in this tiny but strategically located country, signs of China’s presence are everywhere. Chinese entities have financed and built Africa’s biggest port, a railway to Ethiopia and the country’s first overseas naval base here. Under the sea, they are building a cable that will transmit data across a region that spans from Kenya to Yemen. The cable will connect to an Internet hub housing servers mostly run by China’s state-owned telecom companies.

Small Arms Commission troubled over proliferation of illicit weapons | 18 December 2019 | JoyOnline

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has expressed concern over the proliferation of illicit small arms some of which are used to commit crime against police officers in-line of duty.

Help us fight gun violence – Small arms commission to Ghanaians | 17 December 2019 | Ghana Web

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has called for the support of Ghanaians in its fight against the proliferation of small arms and its related violence in the country. |

One Million Light Weapons Circulating in Nigeria, Says NSA | 17 December 2019 | This Day | AllAfrica.com

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) stated yesterday that of the 857 million Small and Light Weapons (SALW) in circulation globally and the 12 billion rounds of ammunition produced annually, 10 million are estimated to be in Africa with one million of them circulating in Nigeria.

Mali : Contre les armes légères et petit calibre | 13 December 2019 | Mali Actu

Contrôler la circulation d’armes légères et petit calibre et la fabrique artisanale, le secrétaire permanent de lutte contre la prolifération des armes légères et petit calibre reste engagé à réussir sa mission. Pour 2019-2023, un plan d’action de plus de 4 milliards de FCFA a été élaboré et adopté.

Ghana calls for robust implementation of Arms Trade Treaty | 3 December 2019 | Ghana News Agency

Mr Jones Applerh, Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW), has called for the robust implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to ensure that its objectives are achieved.

Union calls on South Africa government to drop inspections on arms exports | 3 December 2019 | Today

Regulations can destroy arms industry and lead to job losses | 3 December 2019 | Solidariteit

A leading South African trade union on Tuesday called on the government to drop a requirement that buyers of the country’s arms exports agree to inspections, a measure that is holding up shipments to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

After Libya arms embargo breaches, U.N. Security Council warns countries to stop | 2 December 2019 | Reuters

The United Nations Security Council called on all countries on Monday to implement an arms embargo on Libya and to stay out of the conflict after U.N. sanctions monitors accused Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey of repeated violations.

Ghanaian military interested in equipment from Indonesia’s PT Pindad | 2 December 2019 | DefenceWeb

Indonesia’s PT Pindad and Ghana’s Ministry of Defence have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) as part of efforts exploring the procurement of weapons and equipment.

Russian mercenaries regroup after setback in Mozambique | 30 November 2019 | The Globe and Mail

When the Russians landed in northern Mozambique in late September to fight the local insurgents, they brought a sophisticated array of high-tech military tools, including drones and data analytics.

Centre trains Armory managers from 15 countries to curtail arms proliferation | 23 November 2019 | Pulse Nigeria

The Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre in Kaduna has trained some members of the armed forces from 15 countries in West African on effective management of armories in the sub region.

South Africa blocks arms sales to Saudi and UAE in inspection row | 22 November 2019 | Reuters

South Africa is blocking arms sales to countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an inspections dispute, endangering billions of dollars of business and thousands of jobs in its struggling defence sector, according to industry officials.

LNA Says it Destroyed Turkish-Delivered Armored Vehicles in Misrata | 20 November 2019 | Asharq Al-awsat

The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar said it has carried out airstrikes on the port city of Misrata, targeting armored vehicles delivered from Turkey and a munitions depot.

Cross-border arms trafficking inflames northern Kenya’s conflict | 18 November 2019 | ISS

Arms trafficking and cattle rustling are driving local conflict in Kenya’s northern border county of Marsabit. Scores have been killed in the politically motivated ethnic conflict this year alone. In the latest flare-up on 25 August, 12 people died in attacks on two villages in Marsabit’s Forolle settlement along the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

How Turkana and Pokot got caught up in 1970s’ arms race | 18 November 2019 | Daily Nation

Idi Amin had an unholy alliance with the Soviet Union. Shortly after the 1976 Entebbe raid by Israeli soldiers that had destroyed most of his air force, the Ugandan president turned to Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny for help.

Ghana operating Otokar Cobra armoured vehicles | 15 November 2019 | DefenceWeb

Ghana is one of the most recent customers for the Turkish Otokar Cobra and Cobra II armoured vehicles, with both models seen in service with the Ghanaian Army earlier this month.

The Mercenaries Behind Russian Operations in Africa | 15 November 2019 | The Jamestown Foundation

On October 24, Russia concluded its Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, seeking to deepen Moscow’s relations with the continent. Notably, security cooperation formed a key component of the agenda (Summitafrica.ru, October 24). However, Russian security operations in Africa prove more nuanced, as Russia deploys private military companies (PMC) to pursue its geopolitical ambitions. Echoing its Syria strategy, Russian PMCs operate in Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), among other countries. As a result, Russian security influence stretches from the Eastern Mediterranean to the north African coast and the central African interior.

Nigeria donates $300,000 to support South Sudan’s army | 14 November 2019 | The Nation Online

Nigeria has pledged $300,000 (N108,450,000.00) donation to the unified South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), it was learnt. The support is towards ending the conflict in South Sudan.

Nigerian Army orders locally made Ezugwu armoured vehicles | 14 November 2019 | DefenceWeb

The Nigerian Army has ordered 28 Ezugwu armoured personnel carriers for counter-terrorism/insurgency missions, a month after the vehicle was unveiled by the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).

Russia throws more weight behind Haftar in Libya | 11 November 2019 | ISS

After some equivocation, Moscow is now reportedly throwing its weight more fully behind Libya’s maverick General Khalifa Haftar in his attempt to overthrow the United Nations-backed Tripoli government of Fayez al-Sarraj.

Libye : Jordanie, Turquie et Emirats accusés de violer l’embargo sur les armes | 8 November 2019 | LeMuslimPost

Jordan, UAE, Turkey, Sudan accused of violating sanctions on Libya | 11 November 2019 | Reuters

Les Emirats arabes unis, la Jordanie et la Turquie ont fourni des armes de manière régulière et parfois flagrante sans vraiment d’efforts pour en dissimuler la provenance”, soulignent les experts dans une synthèse de leurs travaux accompagnant leur étude, à laquelle l’AFP a eu accès jeudi.

Rheinmetall wollte Geschütze auf Kriegsschiff im Embargoland Eritrea nachrüsten | 7 November 2019 | Stern

Eine interne Mail beweist: Rheinmetall sagte den Militärs der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate Anfang 2017 zu, ein Upgrade für Geschütze auf einem Kriegsschiff zu liefern, das in Eritrea stationiert war – trotz eines UN-Embargos. Ein Experte spricht von einer möglichen Straftat. Rheinmetall weist Kritik zurück.

Destination des munitions volées à Ouakam : Un coup d’état contre le régime de Mauritanie | 6 November 2019 | Samarew Infos

La saisie de plus de 4000 cartouches d’AK-47, dans la nuit du 26 au 27 octobre, à hauteur de Pire, dans le département de Tivaouane cache bien des secrets.

Foreign jets used in Libyan refugee centre airstrike, says UN | 6 November 2019 | The Guardian

Foreign fighter jets are suspected by United Nations arms experts of launching precision missiles that killed at least 53 refugees housed in a Libyan refugee detention centre near Tripoli in July, one of the worst single atrocities of the Libyan civil war.

Nigeria: Documents Show Ex-Governor Amosun Illegally Imported Arms, Ammunition | 4 November 2019 | Premium Times | AllAfrica.com

On the night of June 25, Ibikunle Amosun, a serving senator and former governor of Ogun State, issued a lengthy rebuttal to a PREMIUM TIMES story that exposed his curious surrendering of a massive cache of arms and ammunition to the police in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Egyptian government documents: Officials in Cairo tried to cover up arms deal with North Korea | 26 October 2019 | The Washington Post

Internal Egyptian government documents show officials in Cairo scrambling to do damage control after U.S. spy agencies uncovered an alleged scheme to smuggle North Korean military cargo into the country in defiance of international sanctions.

Chair of Somalia Sanctions Committee Stresses Need to Update Long-Standing Restrictions on Arms Imports, in Security Council Briefing | 25 October 2019 | UN Security Council | ReliefWeb

Whereas long-standing restrictions on the importation of weapons have largely prevented their flow into the hands of Al-Shabaab — a group responsible for ongoing terror attacks across the Horn of Africa — those measures require updating to better reflect reality on the ground, the head of the Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee said today.

AMERICAS

Making human rights a condition for arms sales is smart foreign policy | 24 December 2019 | Annie Shiel | The Hill

In the past few years we’ve seen U.S.-made planes and weapons bomb children in Yemen; gross violations of human rights by recipients of U.S. arms in places such as Cameroon and Nigeria; tear gas canisters labeled “made in the USA” fired at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong; and a steady stream of American guns fueling homicide crises in Jamaica and Central America — to name just a few. And yet, each renewed call for conditioning arms sales on human rights is met with a predictable response from the government and arms industry: If we make it harder to buy U.S. weapons, foreign governments will simply turn to Russia and China for their arms, and we’ll have lost the economic benefit and political influence over the recipient country.

Assessing the Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to the Small-Arms Export Regime | 2 December 2019 |Lawfare

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 2020 is currently in House-Senate Conference Committee reconciliation negotiations. Among the several differences between the House and Senate versions is an amendment that could decide whether a Trump administration proposal to loosen export controls on firearms goes into effect. On Nov. 21, the Trump administration gave formal notification to Congress of the proposed rule changes, which could go into effect as early as Dec. 20 if Congress does not block the initiative within 30 days.

Fábrica de armas de Sedena concluirá mudanza a Puebla en 2021 | 29 November 2019 | Telediario Monterrey

Las nuevas instalaciones permitirán mantener e incrementar, según se necesite, la producción de 30 mil fusiles FX05 anualmente que son utilizados por el Ejército y ahora por la Guardia Nacional.

State Department looking into reports US weapons ended up in wrong hands in Yemen | 26 November 2019 | The Hill

The State Department is looking into reports that U.S.-made weapons sent to Yemen have fallen into the hands of those against the U.S.-backed and internationally recognized government, according to a letter released Tuesday by presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Canada Finds No Credible Link Between Defence Exports and Human Rights Violations in Saudi Arabia | 25 November 2019 | McCarthy Tetrault LLP

In a recently released departmental briefing note, Global Affairs Canada (“GAC”) reported on its assessment of Canadian defence exports and transfers to Saudi Arabia following a new “rigorous process for assessing whether there is a substantial risk that the proposed export would result in human rights or humanitarian law violations.”

Arms trafficking case in US court spotlights Haiti’s illegal weapons problem | 24 November 2019 | Stock Daily Dish

A week after an Orlando gun shop owner was informed that that his request to export semi-automatic weapons, ammunition and ballistic armor to Haiti had been denied by U.S.. government officials, the federally licensed arms dealer fired off an email to a Pompano Beach ballistic armor company and requested personal protection gear on behalf of Haitian police.

US arms concern warns Canada of ‘billions of dollars of liability’ if Trudeau scraps Saudi deal | 22 November 2019 |Stock Daily Dish

General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), a Canadian subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, a US-based multinational aerospace and defense corporation, stated on Monday that the potential severance of the 2014 deal would strike a heavy blow to the company, its Canadian employees and to the Canadian defense industry in general.

Experts dispute Canada’s claim of no link between Saudi arms sales and human rights abuses | 22 November 2019 |Global News

Canada claims it has found no evidence linking its military exports to human rights violations committed by Saudi Arabia, even after video and photos of Canadian military goods have appeared amid the Yemen conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels.

The toll of illegal firearms | 21 November 2019 | Rochester Beacon

Despite New York’s strong legal restrictions on gun ownership, sales and transfers, illegal firearms continue to appear in Monroe County during criminal investigations and at crime scenes.

America’s Arms Sales Addiction. The 50-Year History of U.S. Dominance of the Middle Eastern Arms Trade | 17 November 2019 | William D. Hartung | TomDispatch

It’s no secret that Donald Trump is one of the most aggressive arms salesmen in history. How do we know? Because he tells us so at every conceivable opportunity. It started with his much exaggerated “$110 billion arms deal” with Saudi Arabia, announced on his first foreign trip as president. It continued with his White House photo op with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he brandished a map with a state-by-state rundown of American jobs supposedly tied to arms sales to the kingdom. And it’s never ended.

Climate Change May Be Blowing Up Arms Depots | 14 November 2019 | Scientific American

More intense heat waves can destabilize the components of munitions, particularly where explosives are not properly stored.

CNDDR: “plus de 500 mille armes illégales en circulation en Haïti” | 12 November 2019 | Loop News Haiti

La Commission Nationale de Désarmement, Démantèlement et Réinsertion révèle que plus de 500 mille armes à feu circulent illégalement en Haïti. Jean Rebel Dorcénat, l’un des membres de la CNDDR, informe que le commerce illicite des armes est contrôlé par 11 personnes, issues du secteur privé haïtien.

These ‘mistakes’ are behind most OFAC violations | 8 November 2019 | The FCPA Blog

Earlier this year the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments. It describes essential components of a sanctions compliance program (management commitment, risk assessment, internal controls, testing and auditing, and training). There’s also a neat section about “root causes” of sanctions violations that OFAC found during actual investigations.

Trump administration to ease gun exports | 8 November 2019 | DefenceWeb

The Trump administration passed a key milestone in a long-delayed rule change that would make it easier to sell US firearms, including assault rifles and ammunition, outside the country people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Comprehensive Compliance Programs Key to Mitigating Risk of Potential Violations of Antitrust Laws, OFAC Sanctions, FCPA | 7 November 2019 | Bloomberg Law

Companies need corporate compliance programs that address antitrust, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, and trade issues, Lowenstein Sandler attorneys write. They offer steps for making sure companies stay out of the cross hairs of the Justice Department, Treasury, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

U.S. Government announces enhanced due diligence process for humanitarian trade with Iran and identifies Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern | 6 November 2019 | Hogan Lovells LLP

On 25 October, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and State announced the establishment of a new channel for conducting due diligence on humanitarian trade with Iran. Foreign governments and foreign financial institutions that choose to participate in this enhanced due diligence process must report to the U.S. Treasury Department a significant volume of information on a monthly basis.

ASIA

China drafts law to control arms sales | 25 December 2019 | ECNS

China is reviewing a draft law that will see arms sale properly controlled, a measure that comes at a time when Beijing is beginning to master world-leading military technologies which should not fall into the wrong hands, experts said on Monday.

The fight to expose Israel’s arms sales to the world’s most repressive regimes | 25 December 2019 | +972 Magazine

In early 2017, a representative from the Israeli Foreign Ministry walked into a classroom in Tel Aviv University where she had been invited to speak to law students about the regulations governing Israel’s military exports. Five minutes into her presentation, one student asked the representative about Israel’s exports to countries such as South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Rwanda, which routinely commit gross human rights violations. Other students quickly followed suit.

Ventes d’armes d’Israël dans le monde. Missiles, radars, munitions, optique, drones, … | 21 December 2019 | La Chambre de Commerce France-Israel

Les compagnies israéliennes exportent des systèmes de défense aérienne de missiles (31%), de radars (17%), avioniques (14%), de munitions sèches (9%), des systèmes de communication (9%), d’observation et d’optique (8 %), des drones (2%), des systèmes marins (1%), et des satellites ou des équipements spatiaux (1%).

Israeli weapons are heading for the East — with no concern for human rights | 16 December 2019 | +972 Magazine

We don’t know all the countries Israel’s secretive arms industry is targeting for future sales. What we do know is that the people of Myanmar, Kashmir, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Palestine, and others will pay the price.

Philippine National Police to acquire 25,120 new assault rifles from Israel | 16 December 2019 | Inquirer.net

PNP to acquire over 17K Israeli-made assault rifles | 16 December 2019 | Philippine News Agency

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to receive 25,120 new 5.56-m basic assault rifles valued at P726,926,720, which will be sourced from the General Appropriations Act of 2019 and Trust Receipts.

Government in Myanmar is the only national security force still deploying landmines | 3 December 2019 | ASEAN Today

On Tuesday, 26 November, a German tourist was killed when the motorbike he was riding struck a landmine in Myanmar’s Shan State. The man was travelling between Pan Nyaung Village and Kun Hauk Village, near Hsipaw Township, with an Argentine woman, who was also injured in the blast.

Impact of export control law on the Israeli economy | 27 November 2019 | The Jerusalem Post

Laws regarding export control have strong impact on the Israeli economy, especially the hi-tech industry. Export control law traditionally restricted the export of military equipment and weaponry to problematic states and other entities. However, since countries increasingly seek military advantage through the use of cutting-edge technology, export control law also prohibits the export of certain innovative technologies without government approval.

Myanmar’s Generals Make a Show of Displeasure at China’s Arming of Rebels | 26 November 2019 | The Irrawaddy

The love-hate nature of Myanmar’s relationship with its giant neighbor China was on full display on Sunday with the army’s announcement that it seized a large cache of Chinese-made weapons from rebels in northern Myanmar last week.

Indonesia’s Pindad and Paramount collaborate on combat vehicles | 25 November 2019 | DefenceWeb

Indonesia’s PT Pindad has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Paramount Group for the local development, industrialisation and joint marketing of armoured vehicle systems for the Indonesian armed forces.

Leopard 2-Panzer in der Hand syrischer Rebellen? | 22 November 2019 | Handelsblatt

Nach Berichten über eine mögliche Weitergabe des Waffensystems an die mit der Türkei verbündeten, islamistischen Rebellen sagte die stellvertretende Regierungssprecherin Ulrike Demmer am Freitag in Berlin: „Selbstverständlich haben wir ein grundsätzliches Interesse daran, dass Rüstungsexporte und die Regeln, die wir bei diesen Rüstungsexporten verfolgen, eingehalten werden.” Eigene Erkenntnisse gebe es dazu nicht.

UAE in weapons making push as allies restrict sales | 22 November 2019 | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is making a push to develop high-tech military hardware that would give it control over critical defence capabilities and lessen reliance on imports.

Hensoldt Optronics and Saudi Arabia’s Intra sign cooperation agreement | 18 November 2019 | DefenceWeb

South Africa’s Hensoldt Optronics and Saudi Arabia’s Intra Defence Technologies have signed a partnership agreement covering the development and co-production of airborne electro-optical systems.

MBDA and Tawazun have signed an agreement to open missile engineering facility in UAE | 17 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

According to a statement released on November 17, 2019, French firms MBDA France and Dassault Aviation are set to sign agreements with Tawazun Economic Council to open up a missile engineering facility and flight testing centre in the UAE.

Tawazun Economic Council to establish four new regional centres in UAE | 16 November 2019 | Gulf News

As part of their ongoing commitment to enable the UAE’s defence and security industry, Tawazun Economic Council, “Tawazun,” announced plans to establish four new regional centers, bringing to nine the total number of projects announced under the new policy for Tawazun Economic Programmne during IDEX 2019.

US supporting Gulf bid to localise military and defence production, official says | 16 November 2019 | The National

The US is adapting its way of doing business in the Gulf as regional governments look to localise military and defence production as part of economic overhaul plans to diversify away from oil, create jobs and develop advanced technology.

Oman munitions manufacturer to receive South Korean technology | 15 November 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly | IHS Jane’s 360

South Korean ammunition manufacturer CNO Tech on 14 November signed a technology transfer agreement with the Public Authority for Privatisation and Partnership (PAPP), which manages offset programmes in Oman.

Turkey’s Syria Invasion: German Research Report Says Illegal on All Counts | 15 November 2019 | Just Security

Turkey’s latest military offensive in northern Syria has triggered a heated discussion about the legality of the use of force. While operation ‘Peace Spring’ has been dubbed ‘unlawful’ by most commentators, the community of states has so far focused its criticism on the military, security, and humanitarian dimensions of the invasion. The reluctance of governments to offer their views on its legality is unfortunate, given that such views (opinio juris) are crucial to the evolution of customary international law on the use of force.

India will produce locally 469 Russian T-90MS main battle tanks | 10 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

According to a news released on November 8, 2019, on the official website of the “Times of India”, the Indian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, in Chennai, to produce 469 Russian T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), that could be the MS version of the T-90 family.

Uzbekistan holds first live-fire tests of Chinese made FD-2000 SAM system | 8 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

Uzbekistan’s army has held the first live-fire tests of its Chinese-made FD-2000 (or HQ-9, said to be a non-licensed variant of the Russian S-300 air defense system), the Ministry of Defense reported on November 8.

UK admits to sending security services to train Saudi military personnel | 8 November 2019 | Middle East Eye

The UK government has admitted that British military personnel are training Saudi internal security forces that protect the royal family on maintaining public order.

Leopard-2-Panzer an der Seite von Milizen in Syrien im Einsatz | 8 November 2019 | Handelsblatt

Die Türkei setzt bei ihrer Offensive schweres Gerät gegen kurdische Einheiten ein. Darunter sind Panzer, die aus Deutschland geliefert wurden.

Under shroud of secrecy US weapons arrive in Yemen despite Congressional outrage | 7 November 2019 | CNN

The awkward camera angle is meant to hide the fact that the owner of the phone is filming, but there is no mistaking the outlines of the heavy cargo being deposited on the dock in the Yemeni port of Aden last week.

Facing Sanctions, Turkey’s Defense Industry Goes to Plan B | 7 November 2019 | Stratfor Worldview

Turkey’s defense industry has taken a blow, but it’s certainly not down and out. Ankara’s relationship with the European Union and many of its fellow NATO members has hit a new low following Turkey’s military incursion into northeastern Syria. Outraged at the Turkish operation, a large number of Western states, including key arms exporters such as France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, suspended their arms exports to Turkey.

Arming genocide | 7 November 2019 | The Daily Star

Arms trade is big business, governed by its own set of conventions. These transactions are triggered by conflicts and peacekeeping; for violence and security—depending on who the buyer is. And global arms sale has reached alarming levels in recent years—highest since the end of the Cold War.

India to produce 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles under license | 7 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

The Russian-Indian joint venture (JV) Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) located in Amethi (Uttar Pradesh, India) will produce 670,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian military, according to the Indian newspaper Economic Times.

Why Russia’s Sale Of 750000 AK-203 Rifles To India Is A Big Deal | 6 November 2019 | The National Interest

From air defense systems to nuclear submarines, the Soviet Union has enjoyed a longstanding, profitable defense export relationship with India. However, both the USSR and its Russian successor state have historically struggled to break into the Indian small arms market.

US believes reports Turkey misused US-supplied weapons in Syria incursion are ‘credible’ | 6 November 2019 | CNN

The US is investigating whether Turkey violated agreements with Washington about the use of US-provided weapons and equipment, including whether Ankara improperly transferred US-supplied weapons to its proxies in Syria, groups that some US officials say may have committed war crimes as part of the Turkish-led incursion targeting America’s Kurdish allies.

UAE set to become major Middle East arms producer | 6 November 2019 | Middle East Monitor

With the UAE extending its influence across the Middle East, the small Gulf state — dubbed “Little Sparta” by US officials — has long held ambitions to become a major player in the arms industry. Yesterday, the Emirates took a major step towards this goal with the launch of a new defence company which will become the largest military enterprise in the country.

Abu Dhabi groups UAE defense firms under one roof to cut costs | 5 November 2019 | Reuters

UAE launches defence conglomerate | 5 November 2019 | Army Technology

Abu Dhabi plans to group more than 25 state-owned and private entities in the UAE defense sector, with combined annual revenues of $5 billion, into a single defense company.

India plans to be among top 5 defence producers | 5 November 2019 | Conrad Courier

In an unusual thrust to meet ambitious export targets, Indian defence officials recently made a pitch for defence and aerospace products to over 50 foreign military attaches posted with their embassies in New Delhi.

Thailand outlines technology-transfer priority | 5 November 2019 | Janes Defence Industry | IHS Jane’s 360

Thailand has outlined a commitment to ensure that technology transfers are secured in all major defence procurement programmes. The policy is intended to support the development of local industry in defence and commercial sectors.

Taiwan ready to purchase 106 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks from U.S. | 1 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

According to news released by the Taiwanese newspaper website on October 28, 2019, the Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan plans to buy 106 M1A2T main battle tanks from the United States and moved to sign a Letter of Offer and Acceptance.

EUROPE

Criminality warning after MoD guns and ammo lost or stolen | 29 December 2019 | Sky News

Campaigners have warned that almost a dozen guns and more than 1,000 bullets lost or stolen from Ministry of Defence bases could be used to commit crime.

Die CIA-Connection: Nutzten die USA einen Schweizer Frachter für Waffenlieferungen? | 24 December 2019 | Watson

Skandal um Schweizer Hochseeschiffe: Viele ungeklärte Fragen | 19 December 2019 | Mattea Meyer | Das Schweizer Parlament

Skandal um Schweizer Hochseeflotte: Waffenlieferung nach Saudi-Arabien? | 16 December 2019 | Mattea Meyer

Ein Schweizer Schiff könnte im Auftrag ausländischer Geheimdienste Waffen zu den Saudis gebracht haben. SP-Nationalrätin Mattea Meyer verlangt jetzt Antworten vom Bundesrat.

US Expands Sanctions Against Serbian Arms Dealer | 10 December 2019 | BIRN | Balkan Insight

The US Department of the Treasury has extended its sanctions against blacklisted Serbian arms dealer Slobodan Tesic to target his alleged support network and companies that he allegedly uses.

EU Common Rules on the Control of Exports of Military Technology and Equipment: Council Adopts new Decision, Conclusions and a Revised User’s Guide | 9 December 2019 | Steptoe International Compliance Blog

The Council of the European Union recently adopted a Decision amending Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of December 8, 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. The new Council Decision takes account of the developments at EU and international level since the adoption of the original 2008 Common Position. The Council Decision is accompanied by Conclusions and an updated version of the User’s Guide to Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP defining common rules governing the control of exports of military technology and equipment.

EU court upholds tightened firearms ban | 4 December 2019 | DW

The Czech Republic had challenged the ban on semi-automatic rifles for private use. But measures taken by the European Parliament and the European Council do not breach legal principles, says the EU’s top court.

Gericht hebt Ausfuhr-Sperre gegen Rheinmetall-LKW nach Saudi-Arabien auf | 3 December 2019 | Reuters

Das Verwaltungsgericht Frankfurt hat ein vom Bund verfügtes Ausfuhrverbot von Militär-Lastwagen des Rheinmetall-Konzerns nach Saudi-Arabien gekippt.

Serbian Minister’s Father ‘Visited Saudi Arabia With Arms Firm’ | 2 December 2019 | Balkan Insight

The father of Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, Branko, travelled last year to Saudi Arabia as part of a company delegation for the private arms trade firm GIM, BIRN can reveal. The information comes after senior officials downplayed Branko Stefanovic’s involvement in the arms trade through the intermediary arms trade company.

Les ventes d’armes de la France devant le Conseil d’Etat | 29 November 2019 | Mediapart

Les associations Action Sécurité Ethique Républicaines (ASER), suivie par l’Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (ACAT-France) et rejointes par Médecins du Monde (MdM), Salam for Yémen, Action contre la faim et Sherpa, ont déposé ce 19 novembre 2019 un recours auprès du Conseil d’Etat.

Un coq wallon sans sang sur les plumes, c’est possible” | 28 November 2019 | Le Soir

Amnesty rappelle au gouvernement wallon les engagements pris en matière de commerce d’armes, et pointe le manque de transparence qui subsiste dans ce domaine.

Exposed: Bellingcat fabricate evidence, deliberately hide documents in new ‘Russian spy plot’ | 28 November 2019 | armswatch.com

Bellingcat, an online investigation organization headed by Eliot Higgins, has deliberately and with malicious intent manipulated evidence by hiding crucially important documents in order to slander me as a journalist and misrepresent my investigation, 350 flights carry weapons for terrorists, as “intentionally incorrect”.

Dubiose Zahlungen beim Panzer-Deal: Ein Verfahren in Zug gibt Einblicke | 16 November 2019 | Luzerner Zeitung

Der deutsche Rüstungskonzern Krauss-Maffei Wegmann schweigt über seltsame Provisionszahlungen nach Katar. Im Zuger Kantonsgericht wurde nun mehr über den Empfänger bekannt.

Heckler & Koch: Russen versuchten schon dreimal die Waffenschmiede zu kaufen | 16 November 2019 | FOCUS Online

Die mögliche Übernahme des deutschen Rüstungsunternehmens Heckler & Koch (H&K) durch Offshore-Firmen aus Barbados wird immer nebulöser. Jetzt kommt raus, dass deutsche Sicherheitsbehörden in den vergangenen zehn Jahren mindestens drei Versuche dubioser russischer Investoren registrierten, die Waffenschmiede zu übernehmen.

Oxford’s weapons research revealed | 15 November 2019 | Cherwell

Every day for the past four years, bombs have rained down on Yemen. Cut off from the outside world by an illegal naval blockade and pummelled with state-of-the-art American and British weaponry, Yemen’s situation is described by the UN as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Milliardenauftrag aus Katar – Schmierte KMW einen katarischen General? | 14 November 2019 | Handelsblatt

Der Münchener Rüstungskonzern Krauss-Maffei Wegmann schweigt beharrlich über seltsame Provisionszahlungen nach Katar. Nun wird mehr über den Empfänger bekannt.

General Dynamics has started production of Piranha 5 8×8 armored vehicles in Romania | 14 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has started on November 6th the production of PIRANHA 5 8×8 armored vehicles at the factory of its strategic Romanian partner Uzina Mecanică București (UMB) which marks an important milestone in the PIRANHA 5 Program for the Romanian Army.

Egypt, UAE among biggest buyers of German arms | 13 November 2019 | Middle East Monitor

Germany’s arms exports to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has significantly rose in the first half of this year despite the two countries’ involvement in the Yemen conflict, according to a report released on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

US cautions Serbia against acquiring ‘significant Russian military systems’ | 10 November 2019 | The Defense Post

A U.S. State Department official has expressed concern about Serbia’s interest in Russian air defense systems, warning Belgrade to be “careful and cautious” about buying them, in comments to North Macedonia television.

Verkauf von Heckler & Koch entwickelt sich zur Tarnaktion | 10 November 2019 | Welt

Der künftige Besitzer des Waffenherstellers Heckler & Koch soll bereits am Unternehmen beteiligt sein. Wer es ist, bleibt rätselhaft. Dafür gibt Noch-Eigentümer Andreas Heeschen jetzt Einblick in seine Verkaufspläne.

Russian Snipers Can Now Kill You with Hypersonic Bullets | 7 November 2019 | The National Interest Online

Russian weapons manufacturer Lobaev Arms has announced that they can produce small arms ammunition with a muzzle velocity of 2,000 m/s.

Rosoboronexport delivers $11 billion of defence equipment in 2019 | 6 November 2019 | Shephard Media

So far in 2019, Russia’s state defence export company Rosoboronexport has supplied equipment worth some $11 billion and signed more than 800 contracts, it announced on 1 November.

EU Issues Guidance on Internal Compliance Programs for Dual-Use Trade Controls | 6 November 2019 | Steptoe & Johnson LLP

The European Commission (Commission) recently published a non-binding guidance with recommendations on internal compliance programs (ICPs) for dual-use trade controls under Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (EU Dual-Use Regulation) after having issued a draft guidance and launched a survey last fall.

Zürcher Kriegsmaterial aus der Quartier-Waffenschmiede | 6 November 2019 | Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Mitten im friedliebenden Zürich baut Rheinmetall Air Defence Flugabwehrkanonen. Die Stadt hat nichts dagegen; sie profitiert auch von den Steuereinnahmen. Doch zwei Gründe könnten dafür sorgen, dass die Zeit der Waffen «made in Zurich» zu Ende geht.

Briten bestellen deutsche Panzer für über drei Milliarden Euro | 6 November 2019 | Welt

Bevor die Neuwahlen eine andere Regierung an die Macht bringen könnten, ordert Großbritannien in Deutschland 500 Rad-Transportpanzer vom Typ Boxer für schnelle Truppentransporte an die Front. Produziert wird er jedoch auf der Insel.

Rüstungsstandort München – Waffenstadt: Wie hiesiges Kriegsmaterial in die Welt verschifft wird | 5 November 2019 | Abendzeitung München

Münchner Produkte – vor allem Panzer des Typs Leopard 2 – seien “bei der völkerrechtswidrigen türkischen Invasion in die kurdischen Gebiete in Nordsyrien (auch Rojava genannt) beteiligt”, klagte Thomas Lechner, der OB-Kandidat der Linkspartei dieser Tage. Münchner Waffen und Kriegsgerät in aller Welt – das hat Tradition.

Tory ministers have approved £2bn in arms sales to repressive regimes since last election | 5 November 2019 | The Independent

The government has signed off nearly £2bn worth of arms sales to repressive regimes in the two years since the 2017 election, official figures show.

Austrian Hirtenberger Defence Group to be acquired by HDT Védelmi Ipari Kft | 4 November 2019 | ArmyRecognition

The Office of the Hungarian Government Commissioner Responsible for Defence, Defence Industries and the Coordination of Defence Modernisation announces that HDT Védelmi Ipari Kft. Company has acquired 100% of the Austrian Hirtenberger Defence Group owned by the Hirtenberger Holding GmbH, Hirtenberg, Austria.

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