DA wants NCACC to investigate arms sales to Azerbaijan and Armenia

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday said that it would request answers from government on why South Africa was selling sniper rifles and sub-machine guns to Azerbaijan and Armenia respectively.

“I will request National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) Chairperson, Jeff Radebe, to order an investigation into inter alia the sale of 40 sniper rifles, worth R3 800 000 to Azerbaijan, and 100 sub-machine guns, worth R420 000, to Armenia,” said David Maynier, the DA’s Shadow Deputy Minister of State Security, said in a statement.

This is after the NCACC had finally complied with the enhanced reporting requirement set out in the National Conventional Arms Control Amendment Act (No. 73 of 2008) and have tabled all the outstanding annual/quarterly reports in Parliament.

“These reports reveal a number of highly questionable conventional arms sales including conventional arms sales to Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Maynier said.

“The NCACC must, according to legislation regulating conventional arms sales, ‘…avoid transfers of conventional arms that are likely to contribute to the escalation of regional military conflicts, endanger peace by introducing destabilizing military capabilities into a region or otherwise contribute to regional instability.’”

Maynier said that a 2012 National Conventional Arms Control Committee Second Quarterly Report (01 April 2012 to 30 June 2012) revealed that 40 sniper rifles, worth R3 800 000, were sold to Azerbaijan.

He added that the 2012 National Conventional Arms Control Committee Fourth Quarterly Report (01 October 2012 to 31 December 2012) also reveals that Azerbaijan received 30 000 rounds of ammunition, worth R11 880 000, from South Africa.

“Moreover, the 2012 National Conventional Arms Control Committee Second Quarterly Report (01 April 2012 to 30 June 2012) reveals the sale of 100 sub-machine guns, worth R420 000, to Armenia.

There is a risk of contributing to regional instability by selling conventional arms to both Azerbaijan and Armenia,” said Maynier.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been involved in a regional conflict particularly in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“That is why there is an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe arms embargo, as well as a Non-Mandatory United Nations arms embargo, in place on Azerbaijan,” he ssaid.

“We have to be absolutely sure that South Africa is not contributing to regional instability by selling conventional arms that are being used in the Nagorno-Karabakh region or on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

“I will, therefore, request NCACC Chairperson, Jeff Radebe, to order the committee’s inspectorate to conduct a full-blown investigation into the sale of 40 sniper rifles, worth R3 800 000 to Azerbaijan; 30 000 rounds of ammunition, worth R11 880 00, to Azerbaijan; and 100 sub-machine guns, worth R420 000, to Armenia.”

Image: 4.bp.blogspot.com