Germany gluts Algeria with weapons

In the period from 2010 to 2012, Germany has dramatically increased arms sales to Algeria. Two years ago, German manufacturers delivered weapons to Algeria for the amount of 20 million euros, and in 2012 they signed deals for 400 million. Not everyone is happy with this development, but the country has many counter agents, for example, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Many countries expressed interest in German armaments, including Qatar, India and Angola. In 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany was the third (9.4 percent) largest arms exporter in the world, second only to the U.S. (34.6 percent) and Russia (24.2 percent).

Weapons with a brand Made in Germany are in demand around the world. The issue is that tanks, armored personnel carriers and submarines sent abroad are not always intended solely for the Allies or the countries in which human rights are respected. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet, according to German media, are exporting German arms to the countries that are often far from democratic values ​​proclaimed by the West.

After a series of scandals related to the agreements on the supply of large quantities of arms to Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, Germany aims at a significant increase in arms exports and cooperation on this issue with Algeria. According to Spiegel magazine, a branch of one of the largest manufacturers of military equipment and weapons in Europe, Rheinmetall AG, is planning to produce up to 1.2 thousand armored TPz Fuchs over the next ten years. These floating combat vehicles will be assembled solely for Algeria. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Algeria spends 3.3 percent of its GDP on defense.

In addition, in early 2011, Berlin approved delivery to Algeria of 54 armored Fuchs worth 195 million euros (248 million dollars), and other military equipment for a total of 286 million euros. Germany signed an agreement worth 2.176 billion euros for the creation of two warships, also for Algeria. Swedish ship missiles Saab RBS-15 Mk3, South African SAM Umkhonto, 76-mm/62 artillery gun Oto Melara Super Rapid, and 27-mm remotely controlled automatic guns Rheinmetall will be installed on the frigates. Super Lynx helicopters manufactured by Agusta Westland will be based on the ships. These transactions show a significant increase in the supply of arms to the country as in 2010, the German arms sales to Algeria amounted to only 19.8 million euros.

Germany's movement towards closer cooperation with Algeria sometimes meets resistance. A "Greenpeace" activist and MP from the left Socialist Party of Germany (Die Linke), Jan van Aken in an interview with Spiegel said that it was irresponsible  to arm Algeria in the mid of the Arab Spring.

Five countries have contracts with Algeria for the supply of weapons for the period 2012-2015. According to the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade (TSAMTO), in 2008-2011 Russia took the first place in terms of value of arms exported to Algeria. During this period, the volume of actual deliveries from Russia to Algeria was estimated at $4.749 billion dollars, accounting for 77 percent of Algerian total arms imports (6.167 billion dollars). Italy was second in the Algerian arms market ($550 million), Great Britain - third ($280 million). Germany was in fourth place with $200 million and France was the fifth with $198 million dollars.

The current government of Germany has been particularly active with arms exports. In July of this year, a number of German parliamentarians questioned the legitimacy of the planned agreement with Indonesia to supply hundreds of tanks in addition to other military vehicles. The Statement of Intent between Rheinmetall AG and the Indonesian government was nevertheless signed on Saturday, as reported by Western media.

There were rumors that in June of last year representatives of the Federal Council of Germany, nine members of the administration and several ministers, met behind closed doors to approve the sale to Saudi Arabia of the most modern German military equipment - over 200 tanks Leopard 2A7. The decision was preceded by the "Arab Spring" and participation of Saudi Arabia tanks in the suppression of the popular uprising in Bahrain.
Igor Bukker


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov