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Report: German govt. approved $1.4bn arms sales to countries involved in Yemen, Libya wars in 2020

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a German Leopard tank.

The German government approved export of weapons and military equipment worth around $1.4 billion in 2020 to countries involved in the deadly conflicts in war-torn Yemen and Libya, a report says.

In a report on Sunday, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), citing Germany’s Economics Ministry, said that the German government approved exports of arms worth 752 million euros ($913 million) to Egypt alone as of December 17.

Egypt is part of a military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, which waged an ongoing brutal war against impoverished Yemen since March 2015 in declared objectives, not fulfilled yet, of bringing a former Riyadh-backed regime back to power and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The imposed war has claimed the lives of some 233,000 people so far, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The appalling figure includes 131,000 from indirect causes, such as lack of food, health services, and infrastructure.

The military intervention has also razed to the ground much of Yemen’s infrastructure.

The Egyptian government also supports Libya’s rebel commander Khalifa Haftar, who has launched a persisting military campaign to unseat the internationally-recognized government in the capital Tripoli.

Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), composed of various militia factions, has killed thousands of people so far in the oil-rich North African country, which has two rival seats of power since 2014, namely the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, and another camp based in the eastern city of Tobruk, backed by the LNA.

According to the dpa’s report, the German government has also granted permission to supply arms licenses to Qatar for 305.1 million euros, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 51.3 million euros, Kuwait for 23.4 million euros, and Turkey for 22.9 million euros.

Berlin also approved arms exports worth about 1.7 million euros to Jordan and Bahrain worth around 1.5 million euros, it added.

All of the said countries have played a role in either one or both of the years-long conflicts in Yemen and Libya. The UAE and Jordan support Haftar in Libya. Abu Dhabi is also a significant part of the Saudi war on Yemen.

Turkey and Qatar support the Tripoli-based government in Libya, while Bahrain, Kuwait, and Jordan are fighting for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

According to figures provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Germany is among the top five arms exporters of the world, along with the US, Russia, France, and China.

The institute says these countries accounted for 76 percent of all arms exports in 2015-19.

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