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Report: Algeria, Morocco are top Africa arms importers

Special to WorldTribune.com

LONDON — Algeria and Morocco have been leading an arms buildup in
North Africa, a report said.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute asserted that
Algeria and Morocco represented the two leading weapons procurers in the
African continent over the last four years.

Algerian Air Force Su-30MKAs.

Algerian Air Force Su-30MKAs.

In a report, the institute said Algiers and Rabat were importing fighter-jets and other combat platforms from suppliers in Russia, Western Europe and the United States.

“Algeria, Morocco and South Africa were by far the largest arms
importers in Africa in 2008-12,” the institute said.

In a report on March 18, SIPRI said North Africa, which accounted for 64
percent, was leading the continent in weapons imports. The institute said
deliveries to Algeria, now the sixth largest recipient, increased by 277
percent between 2003-2007 and 2008-12.

Russia was deemed by far the largest supplier to Algiers. SIPRI said
Russia supplied 93 percent of Algerian arms imports, including 44 Su-30MKA combat aircraft, two Project-636 submarines, an estimated three S-300PMU-2 air defense systems and 185 T-90S main battle tanks.

“However, in 2011-12 Algeria turned to Germany for 2 Meko-A200 frigates
and for a first batch of 54 of a planned 1200 Fuchs armoured personnel
carriers and to China for 3 F-22A frigates.” the report said.

Morocco registered a 15-fold increase in weapons imports over the last
decade. SIPRI said Morocco became the 12th largest recipient in a move from
No. 69 as late as 2007.

“Morocco’s imports during 2008-12 included 24 F-16C combat aircraft from
the USA, 27 MF-2000 combat aircraft from France, three Sigma frigates from
the Netherlands and 54 Type-90-2 tanks from China,” the report said.

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