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Uganda tops arms race as Kenya halves to $13m

Kenya and Tanzania sharply cut their purchase of military weapons last year even as Uganda made a comeback to emerge the top spender on arms in East Africa.

Kenya slashed its spending by half to $13 million from $28 million a year earlier while Tanzania didn’t make purchases, according to a report released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

The report indicates that Uganda ended its lull with its last year’s arms stockpile worth $18 million, a departure from 2016 when it made nil purchase.

Nairobi’s arms orders last year included a second-hand naval gun, AK-630 30mm, from Montenegro “for modernisation of Jasiri OPV (offshore patrol vessel).”

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) last July also received the last two of the eight Bell Huey II helicopters it had ordered from the US to reinforce its air assault capability against terrorists.

The helicopters, six of which were delivered in December 2016, are mostly used for deployment of troops to battlefields and were donated by the US as aid.

“The second-hand UH-1H were rebuilt to UH-1H-2 before delivery,” Sipri said.

Austerity

Jordan, a long-time seller of arms to Nairobi, last year also donated two second hand AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters to Kenya.

Tanzania’s non-action comes amid austerity push by President John Magufuli who has cut back on expenditure deemed non-essential.

Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, has in recent years suffered deadly gun and bomb attacks from Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants demanding withdrawal of KDF troops from the Horn of Africa nation.

The country does not make public its military purchases, and only Parliament is mandated to scrutinise the classified expenditure by security organs.

“In 2013–17 period Kenya acquired 13 transport helicopters, 2 second-hand combat helicopters, 65 light armoured vehicles and a small number of self-propelled howitzers,” the report said.

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1 comment

rezen Mar 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm

Subject: “Uganda tops arms race as Kenya halves to $13m” By BUSINESS DAILY, Mar 13, 2018

Commentary,y, 13 March 2017
A commoner African has one and only one luxury:: ‘commenting in disguise’ And that is what I am doing.
Now, the news item says that “Uganda tops arms race”. Why? Let us be crudely frank in our answer. Museveni wants to enrich himself in the transaction (bribery) of the most expensive venture in the world. It is NOT to protect the people of Uganda. Ugandans are peaceful people. They have no enemy except hunger, lack of decent and modest housings; lack of meaningful education rather than endless recitation; lack of decent medical facilities; lack of modest of modes means of transportation.

Museveni has all those necessities and much more in GRANDIOSE STYLE for him and for his Family. Obviously, Museveni cannot do all those things without equally immoral people around him i.e. his Enablers who opened their hands for, as the Arabs say, Baksheesh — in generous amount, that is!. And the poor people slowly go down, and down, and down into their graves without ever appreciating the sweetness of Nature.
It also applies to the entire fifty-four (54) sarcastically named Free, Independent African Nations. THE END

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