Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An African Arms Race

Algeria, the number one arms purchaser on the African continent, has voiced concerns that the number two arms purchaser, Morocco, is purchasing too many arms.

Morocco had acquired Russian-made missile batteries. There are reports that Morocco and Russia are close to reaching a deal on the price tag of a Russian-made Amur 1650, which would be the kingdom’s first submarine. The deal is expected to be completed during King Mohammed VI’s trip to Moscow later this year. Morocco also plans to reinforce its four new frigate warships by acquiring helicopters with anti-submarine capabilities from Russia. Morocco purchased three U.S. Army CH-470 Chinook transport helicopters, which arrived in Tangier last weekend after seven months of refurbishment.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports that Morocco is the second largest importer of arms in Africa, accounting for 26 per cent of the continent’s overall imports between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. Algeria is the largest arms importer with 30 percent of the continent’s imports. Sudan is third at 6 percent.

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