The kingdom comes in the 24th place in the ranking for the period 2014-2018, climbing six spots compared to the previous period (2013-2017), where it came in the 30th place.
In total, Morocco has purchased 1.2% of global arms imports against 2% for the period 2009-2013, a decrease of 35%. The main arms exporting countries to Morocco are the United States (62%), France (36%) and Italy (0.6%), said SIPRI in its report on arms transfers during the 2014-2018 period.
The North African country came far behind its neighbor, Algeria, which accounted for 56 per cent of African imports of major arms in 2014–18 and 4.4 per cent of world arm imports. Most other states in Africa import very few major arms.
SIPRI’s new report said the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2014–18 rose by 7.5 per cent compared with the 2009–13 period.
Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia occupy the top positions of world largest arm importers respectively with 12, 9.5, 5.1, and 4.6 .
The report also revealed that the USA has increases its dominance over the four other largest exporters in 2014–18, namely Russia, France, Germany and China. The five together accounted for 75 per cent of the total volume of arms exports in the period under review.
The flow of arms to the Middle East increased by 87 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18, and accounted for 35 per cent of global arms imports in 2014–18.
Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest arms importer in 2014–18, with an increase of 192 per cent compared with 2009–13.
Arms imports by Egypt, the third largest arms importer in 2014–18, tripled (206 per cent) between 2009–13 and
Arms imports by Israel (354 per cent), Qatar (225 per cent) and Iraq (139 per cent) also rose between 2009–13 and 2014–18. However, Syria’s arms imports fell by 87 per cent, SIPRI said.
‘Weapons from the USA, the United Kingdom and France are in high demand in the Gulf region, where conflicts and tensions are rife,’ says Pieter D. Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program. ‘Russia, France and Germany dramatically increased their arms sales to Egypt in the past five years.’
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the top five arms importers were Nigeria, Angola, Sudan, Cameroon and Senegal. Together, they accounted for 56 per cent of arms imports to the sub-region.