FAO: Newsdesks - 21st June 2001
CAAT Condemns Shares Held by MPs' Pension Fund in Arms Company
In 1999, Royal Ordnance (subsidiary of BAE) was granted a licence for exporting 105mm light-gun upgrades to Morocco who are embroiled in a long-term conflict with the Saharawi (against whom light-guns have previously been deployed).
In 1994, Robin Cook said Hawks had been "observed on bombing runs in East Timor in most years since 1984". BAE supplied £350 million of Hawk jets to Indonesia in 1996. BAE resumed exports after a 4 month EU embargo is 1999. In 2000 licences were issued for Hawk spares in Indonesia.
In 2000, BAE applied to export £5 million of military equipment to Qatar. Qatar intended giving the weaponry to Algeria. Algeria has an ongoing conflict with Islamic groups juxtaposed with a despicable human rights record.
Other recent BAE sales have been £1.5 billion of jets from South Africa, a suspended deal with India for £500 million, continued orders from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and the furnishing of a Super Skyranger radar for Chinese jets.
"Many MPs talk remorselessly of the need to promote international development programmes and human rights. Yet some parliamentarians inflate their own incomes by holding shares in companies which sell equipment to areas of conflict or regimes that abuse civilian rights. This duplicity is quite simply deplorable."