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The UK sold £17bn Weapons to abusers






“Wherever there is oppression and conflict there will always be arms companies trying to profit from it, and complicit governments helping them to do so,” said Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). Two-thirds of countries classified as “not free” because of their dire record on human rights and civil liberties have received weapons licensed by the UK government over the past decade, new analysis reveals. “Many of these sales are going to despots, dictatorships and human rights abusing regimes. They haven’t happened by accident. None of these arms sales would have been possible without the direct support of Boris Johnson and his colleagues,” added Smith. Between 2011-2020, the UK licensed £16.8bn of arms to countries criticised by US government-funded human rights group. The UK government has already admitted that a Saudi-led coalition has attacked Yemen using weapons made by British companies. The UK supplied more than half of combat aircraft used by the Middle East kingdom for its bombing raids. “Right now, UK-made weapons are playing a devastating role in Yemen and around the world. The arms sales that are being pushed today could be used in atrocities and abuses for years to come,” said Andrew Smith.

The UK sold arms and military equipment to 39Of the 53 countries responsible for a poor record on political and human rights. Libya received £9.3m of assault rifles, military vehicle components and ammunition. Last week it was the focus of international peace talks to stabilise a country where armed groups and foreign powers compete for influence. Further analysis by the London based CAAT found that £11.8bn of arms had been authorised by the UK government during the same period to the Foreign Office’s own list of human rights priority countries. Two-thirds of the countries on the UK government list of repressive regimes had received UK military equipment. The Department for International Trade has also identified nine nations for arms exports that are considered by the western countries to be guilty of many human rights abuses, including Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.

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