According to recent statistics, Uganda and Rwanda were the major importers of Russian weapons in 2021 and 2022, while Ethiopia and Tanzania obtained their military firepower from China.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) arms transfer database, the Brics arms race is already taking place in eastern Africa.
In its August report, Sipri revealed that Russia and China dominate supply while India is the bloc’s and the world’s largest weaponry importer. The release was timed to arrive just before the August 22–24 BRICS Summit in South Africa. Sipri frequently investigates and maps armed confrontations, acquisitions, and arms control
The update looked at arms transfers from 2008 to 2022 to see if the pattern of commerce between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which, before the official admittance of six more members, comprised the BRICS group, is mirrored in their own internal arms trade.
The Brics is a significant economic bloc, and Sipri notes that commerce among its members is expanding. According to data, Russia has continued to be India’s top arms supplier for the past 14 years, and India has also been Russia’s top export client for weaponry.
“However, Russia’s share fell from 78 percent in 2008-12 to 45 percent in 2018-22, while France, Israel, and the USA all gained ground,” according to an extract from the think tank.
According to Sipri’s trend indicator values, Uganda in East Africa was Russia’s largest market in 2022, purchasing weapons worth $48 million out of a total import bill of $55 million. Other contributors were China ($1 million), South Africa ($1 million), Israel ($2 million), and Czechia ($4 million).
Rwanda purchased weapons worth $2 million from the US, $10 million from Turkey, and $46 million from Russia in 2021. Ethiopia purchased weaponry from China worth $35 million in 2022 as opposed to $5 million in arms from Turkey and $6 million in arms from unidentified sources the year before.
Tanzania purchased weaponry from France for $24 million and from China for $29 million in 2021. The only two nations in the area to not get their military equipment from a Brics member during this time are Kenya and South Sudan. Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo also purchased their weapons from South Africa.
In order to promote peace, security, development, and cooperation as well as to challenge Western geopolitical dominance, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa formed the bloc in 2009; the addition of new members Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates is intended to spread these objectives more broadly.