Morocco and Algeria are the largest arms importers in Africa, according to SIPRI

According to data made public by SIPRI’s 2018 Trends in International Arms Transfers, Morocco and Algeria are the largest arms importers in Africa. The USA and France were the main suppliers of arms to the Kingdom in 2014–18.

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Morocco is part of the 40 largest importers of major arms in the world in the period between 2014 and 2018, reveals the SIPRI’s 2018 «Trends in International Arms Transfers».

Released on Sunday, March the 11th, the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database indicates that the Kingdom is ranked 24th, among these 40 countries known for being the biggest arms importers in the world. Between 2009 and 2013, Morocco imported 2.0% of the total share of arms imports.

Between 2014 and 2018, the Kingdom imported 1.2% of the share of arms imports, reached by the 40 countries enlisted by SIPRI. Morocco’s trend changes between 2009-13 and 2014-18 account for -35%.

Compared to other neighboring countries, arms imports made by Morocco during the two periods are less than the ones made by Algeria. The latter is ranked fifth, among the 40 largest importers of major arms in the world.

Algeria and Morocco, the largest arms importers in Africa

According to SIPRI, Algeria’s chief arms suppliers in 2014–18 were China (13 per cent) and Germany (10 per cent) while the USA (62 per cent) and France (36 per cent) were the main suppliers of arms to Morocco in 2014–18. The same source reports that Algeria and Morocco are part of the countries that import arms the most in North Africa and in Africa.

«Algeria accounted for 56 per cent of African arms imports, Morocco for 15 per cent and Nigeria 4.8 per cent», wrote the authors of the Trends in International Arms Transfers. Giving more details, SIPRI says that «the four countries in North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) accounted for 75% of African arms imports».

Although SIPRI reveals that between 2009-13 and 2014-18 arms imports by Africa decreased by 6.5%, the practice increased in North Africa by 20% during the same period. Algeria is among the five largest arms importers in 2014-18, behind Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt and Australia.

Globally, the volume of international transfers of major arms reached in 2014-18 7.8% higher than what was registered in 2009-13. While the five largest arms importers are Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and Algeria, the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China were the largest arms exporters in 2014-18.

The report indicates that the «flow of arms to the Middle East increased by 87 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18, while there was a decrease in flows to all other regions».

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