UK schedules arms trade missions to repressive regimes in 2012

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by SpArK, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2010
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    UK schedules arms trade missions to repressive regimes in 2012

    2012 will see the UK government send arms trade missions to countries who use violent repression against protestors. Countries include traditional customers such as Saudi Arabia and Libya as well as less prominent markets, including Kazakhstan and Nigeria. Mission delegations include arms company executives and are organised by UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), the government's arms sales promotion unit.

    Arms export guidelines state that licences will only be granted if the importer country can meet certain conditions including:

    respect of human rights and fundemental freedoms
    the existence of tensions or armed conflict
    the preservation of regional peace, security and stability.

    Yet many of the countries where UKTI DSO is scheduled to visit and/or to participate in exhibitions violate these guidelines. Several countries have poor human rights records, including Colombia, India, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam.

    Meanwhile, the UK continues to export arms to Bahrain and Egypt, countries with proven human rights abuses against civilian protesters. On 21 November in a BBC interview Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the violence in Egypt was "of great concern" while simultaneously stating that the UK wouuld "not be taking sides". On 12 December in the House of Commons Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt, stated that there would be no arms embargo on Egypt.

    Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has urged the government to stop arms sales to all countries with repressive regimes. Kaye Stearman, spokesperson for CAAT, says:

    In the past week we have seen video evidence of police violence against protesters in Khazakhstan while there is continuing concern about the actions of security forces in Nigeria. Meanwhile daily violence continues in Bahrain and Egypt, yet the UK still exports weapons to both countries.

    2011 brought us the Arab Spring uprisings and the overthrow of abusive rulers bolstered by western weaponry. Yet the UK government seems to have learned nothing from these events. The government revoked some arms export licences but arms sales missions continue, with authoritarian regimes among the prime targets. We urge the government to make a clean break in 2012 and stop arms sales to all authoritarian regimes, in the Middle East and elsewhere

    Latest Press Release - Campaign Against Arms Trade

  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    The world is full of intrigues and cover ups, when caught, laced with pious platitudes.
    sesha_maruthi27 and W.G.Ewald like this.
  4. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Moderator

    May 23, 2011
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    It never fails to amaze me how a nation with centuries worth of blood on its hands can even think of putting up a moral facade like this.

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