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G-8 Countries Criticized for Selling Arms to Repressive Governments

A new report says the world’s industrialized countries are selling arms to governments that abuse human rights. The joint study was published this week by Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the International Action Network on Small Arms.

It comes ahead of next month’s meeting of the industrialized countries, the G8, in Gleneagles, Scotland. Among the topics to be discussed there is the possible adoption of Britain’s proposal for an arms trade treaty.

James Dyson is a press officer for Amnesty International in London. He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle there are several cases where small arms are being sold to African human rights abusers. He said despite a European Arms embargo, France exports bombs, grenades and other ammunition to Sudan; a loophole in an Italian law allows Rome to sell large numbers of firearms to the Republic of Congo “for civilian use”; and, Russia exports heavy weaponry, including aircraft, to Ethiopia, Uganda and Algeria.