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calendar February 26, 2016

Up in arms

The arms trade has been growing continuously since 2004, and the volume of weapons shipped around the world over the past five years has increased 14 percent over the period from 2006 to 2010. That’s just one of the findings of the Stockholm International Peace Institute, which tracks international transfers of major weapons and presents data for five-year periods. Its latest report shows that Asian countries comprised six of the top 10 arms importers, with India leading the pack at 14 percent of global imports. Vietnam’s imports rose by 699 percent, the highest increase of any country. The Middle East followed Asia in imports. Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest importer of arms, with a 275 percent increase over the previous five years. So, who’s selling them all the weapons? The United States tops the list with a 33 percent share of all arms exports. Russia, China, France and Germany rounded out the top five in that order. Interestingly, each of those countries, except Germany, is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Read into that what you will…

For a separate look at how $25 billion in arms sales in 2015 to Saudi Arabia by countries including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States could be breaking their legal obligations under the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty and are causing human suffering in Yemen, check out this alarming report from ATT Monitor.

Source: IRIN News