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BUYERS AND SELLERS IN DEATH TRADE.

Indonesia

Links with al-Qaeda. Decades of human rights abuses in East Timor. Now violently suppressing Aceh independence movement at a cost of 12,000 lives. BUYING: Since 1997 Labour government has approved 377 arms export licences to region. UK-built Scorpion tanks and Hawk jets being used in Aceh, breaking contractual agreements.

Pakistan

Al-Qaeda known to operate in Pakistan. Offered undercover journalists anti-personnel landmines after meeting at DSEi 1999. BUYING: Despite conflict over Kashmir with nuclear rival India, British government approved military sales worth pounds 15million, while also arming India. SELLING: PM Pervez Musharraf recently admitted Israel was only country he would be reluctant to sell arms to. Pakistan Ordnance Factory makes landmines, bombs, grenades, machine guns and rifles.

Israel

Despite breaking dozens of UN resolutions in conflict over Palestine, Britain doubled defence contracts to pounds 22million in 2001. BUYING: In 2002, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw bent UK regulations to allow sale of parts for US-built F16s used in attacks on Occupied Territories. SELLING: Israel Military Industries sells cluster bombs, sub-machine guns, machine guns, missiles, mortar ammunition. IMI was asked by MoD not to display cluster bombs this year but could still tout for future business. Pressure group GlobalSecurity.org claims Rafael's Haifa operation is site of a nuclear weapons design lab.

Syria

Invited by government but declined to attend. Labelled rogue state by US because of suspected illegal chemical weapons programme and links with terror group Hezbollah.

Bulgaria

More than one million Kalashnikovs left Bulgaria after Cold War, ending up with some of world''s most brutal armies, militants and gangsters.

A 1999 Human Rights Watch report called country''s defence industry an "anything goes weapons bazaar"." Allegedly broke UN embargo on selling weapons to Sierra Leone in 1998. SELLING: Arsenal Co. makes assault rifles, grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns.

India

BUYING: British government approved military sales worth pounds 118million to India in 2002, when country was teetering on brink of nuclear war with Pakistan over Kashmir.

Saudi Arabia

BUYING: British arms exports to Saudi were worth about pounds 63million in 2002, despite abusive regime.

China

Long suspected of selling weapons on to rogue states, despite a partial arms embargo. SELLING: Norinco make rifles, sub-machine guns, machine guns.

Turkey

Turkey remains key military ally in the Middle East, despite appalling human rights record against Kurds. BUYING: Human Rights Watch reported weapons sold to Turkey by UK, US, Germany and Russia were used to commit atrocities. Also suspected of selling on UK military technology to rogue states. SELLING: MKEK, makes ammunition, small arms, rockets, hand grenades, pistols, artillery rockets and explosives, multiple launch rocket systems and chemicals for arms production.

Morocco

Al-Qaeda known to operate in Morocco. War on Want has called for ban on weapons which could be used to support Morocco''s armed occupation of Western Sahara, such as gun parts sold by Britain in 2001.

Belgium

SELLING: FN Herstal, Rifles, machine guns, small arms ammunition. In 2002, company won contract to export 5,500 machine guns to Nepal.

Romania

SELLING: Despite Britain''s ratification of anti-landmine Ottowa Treaty in March 1999, Romanian defence firm Romtechnica openly used DSEi that autumn to promote its anti-personnel landmines.

South Africa

BUYING: Currently spending more than pounds 3.5billion on major defence contracts with European firms, including 24 BAE Hawk jets. SELLING: Thirty-six South African companies will have stalls at fair including Dene which makes missiles, infantry weapons and ammunition. Secured pounds 18million deal with Algeria in 1998 when government there was involved in conflict with Islamist opponents.

Tanzania

BUYING: The British government approved a pounds 28million BAE contract to sell an air traffic control system in 1998, opposed by Chancellor Gordon Brown and the World Bank.

United Kingdom

SELLING: BAE Systems, Britain''s biggest defence firm has been caught up in controversy over its high pressure sales tactics, boardroom antics. It has been forced to issue stern denials of bribery in deals with India, the Czech Republic and South Africa and against UN allegations it broke sanctions to sell to Robert Mugabe''s regime in Zimbabwe. Best- known for Hawk jets, naval vessels and missile defence technology, but also sells artillery, small arms and mortars to 50 countries through subsidiary RO Defence. Heckler & Koch has factories in Nottingham and sells under licence in Pakistan, Turkey and until recently, Iran and Myanmar. Rifles, sub-machine guns and machine guns in use in 90 countries. Alvis, UK sold Scorpion tanks to Indonesia which were deployed in violent suppression of independence movement in Aceh, breaking restrictions placed on their use in a Labour- government backed 1997 pounds 100million contract.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2003
Words:758
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