Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Ukrainian arms supplies to sub-Saharan Africa

Ukraine has consistently been among the 10 largest arms exporters in the world during the past two decades. An estimated 18 per cent of Ukrainian arms exports during 2005–2009 were for recipients in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically to Kenya (or Southern Sudan), Chad, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Ukraine has supplied surplus aircraft, tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery, SALW and ammunition to armed forces in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, Ukrainian companies and individuals have supplied other services related to arms transfers and participated in combat missions for African armed forces.

Concerns have been raised in recent years regarding Ukrainian arms exports to Africa. Ukrainian-supplied arms have been used by government forces against armed groups in Chad, the DRC and Equatorial Guinea in recent years, with Ukraine continuing deliveries to Chad and the DRC. Ukrainian, Kenyan and Southern Sudanese officials deny that Ukrainian deliveries of tanks, artillery and ammunition to Kenya have been re-exported to Southern Sudan, despite evidence to the contrary.

Download the Background Paper here.

About the author
Paul Holtom (United Kingdom) is Director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. His area of research is monitoring and measuring international arms transfers, with a focus on the role of arms transfers in interstate relations. He has also carried out research projects on the effects of UN arms embargoes and reporting to the UN Register of Conventional Arms on international transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW). He has authored or co-authored numerous publications on the arms trade and peace and security, with a particular focus on Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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