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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Algiers - Asharq Al-Awsat

Algeria’s Arms Imports Drop by 58%

Algerian helicopters are seen during maneuvers. (Algerian Ministry of National Defense)

Algeria’s arms imports have drastically decreased since 2018, according to a study published recently by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The arms imports of Algeria dropped by 58 percent during the past four years.

Algiers and Moscow have been preparing for a year a “strategic document” for cooperation. It is expected to be signed in May and weapons are a main focus.

In Africa, Algeria comes second after Egypt in military spending while Morocco comes third, according to SIPRI.

Globally, Algeria ranked 18 with arms imports representing 1.8 percent during 2018-2022 compared to 4.1 percent between 2013-2017 (a 58 percent decrease). Arms purchases from Russia and Germany are respectively 73 percent and 10 percent.

Algiers is now Moscow's third largest arms client after India and China, the report added.

China has reinforced its trade presence in Africa by exporting war equipment to 18 states, including Algeria.

The report noted that China has become “the third largest arms supplier in the world following Germany and France.”

Russia and the US also maintained their leading position as the main suppliers of arms to Africa between 2018 and 2022.

Russia’s exports to Africa accounted for 40 percent during the same period, followed by the US (16 percent), China (9.8 percent), and France (7.6 percent).

SIPRI’s publication reported a 40 percent decrease in imports of major arms by African states between 2013-2017 and 2018-2022.

The report attributed the change to drops in arms imports from the two largest importers in the region, namely Algeria and Morocco.

Morocco’s arms imports decreased by 20 percent while Algeria’s arms imports declined by 58 percent.

Sub-Saharan countries' imports of arms accounted for two percent of the total global imports in 2018-2022. They saw a drop of 23 percent compared to the period between 2013-2018.

Algeria and Russia have launched arrangements for a military deal that was termed “important”. It is expected to be finalized in May during the visit of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Moscow.

The two countries also seek to sign an agreement reflecting “the new quality of bilateral ties”, according to statements made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Algeria in May 2022.

Major General Saïd Chengriha, Algeria's Acting Chief of Staff, visited Russia in June 2021. He stressed during his meeting with Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu the strong ties between the two countries.

Chengriha further expressed his country’s gratitude to Russia for reinforcing the armed forces potentials and helping Algeria face threats and challenges.

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