The German Security Council (GSC) has approved the sale of 88 sports utility vehicles with ‘military capabilities’, 1 027 machineguns and 47 machine pistols to Algeria as part of wider exports to countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Algerian Army will also receive relevant spares and accessories for the vehicles and a supply of ammunition for the firearms obtained.
According to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the arms exports were approved early this month by the national security council which is made up of Defence minister Ursula Von der Leyen, Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Affairs minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Development minister Gerd Muller, the ministers of Finance, Interior and Justice and a permanent representative from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office. Merkel chairs the national security council.
The council also approved the sale of 13 Dingo armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 32 Fennek armoured surveillance vehicles to Qatar.
The UAE has been cleared to purchase ‘several’ Wisent tank bulldozers, 3 012 German made automatic rifles, 20 000 mortars and unspecified quantities of ammunition while Jordan, Oman and Kuwait will also import large quantities of firearms.
Saudi Arabia has been cleared to buy unspecified quantities of munitions and ammunition, one Wisent tank bulldozer and up to six public security surveillance systems.
The list of military hardware to be exported also includes tracked Panzer and Bison armoured vehicles but there is confusion surrounding the beneficiary country with some reports suggesting they will go to Algeria while others say they will be exported to Oman and Qatar.
Germany remains the top arms supplier to Algeria and is ranked third after the United States and Russia in terms of arms sales to the Middle East. In 2013, Germany exported arms worth €5.8 billion, a 25 per cent increase from figures recorded in 2012.
Two months ago, the German-Algerian defence relationship was boosted when arms firm Rheinmetall joined a growing list of global original equipment manufacturers who have set up factory plants to produce armoured military vehicles in Algeria.