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FACTDROP: Arms Transfers To The Middle East and North Africa


Arms Transfers To The Middle East and North Africa

Amnesty International report

The numerous unlawful killings and other gross human rights abuses committed in response to the mass protests and demands for change that have gripped the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region since late 2010 underscore, both vividly and tragically, the urgent need for the establishment and implementation of an effective global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). 

All across the region, government authorities responded to protests seen as heralding an “Arab Spring” by using excessive, often lethal force even against peaceful demonstrators while deploying a wide range of weaponry, munitions, armaments and related material much of it imported from abroad.

In Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen, riot police and internal security forces used firearms, shotguns and shotgun cartridges, live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and armoured vehicles to suppress and disperse protesters. In Libya, as the country slid into armed conflict, Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi’s forces launched Grad rockets, mortars and fired artillery into densely-populated civilian residential areas. In Syria
too, government forces have used heavy weaponry, artillery and tanks to fire at civilian areas in their efforts to crush the protests. Incredibly, however, thousands upon thousands of ordinary people have maintained their protests and refused to be cowed by high levels of state violence.

Arms to MENA, AI Report

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