Angola The Top Buyer Of Russian Arms In Africa
The Angolan government has bought arms from
Russia in a $1 billion deal, Portuguese news agency
Lusa said Thursday.
With the deal Angola becomes the principal
purchaser of Russian arms on the continent,
"Angola has inked with the state-owned
Rosoboronexport monopoly a $1billion agreement
which includes military equipment support and the
construction of an ammunition factory in Angola for
assistance after sale," the news agency said.
The agreement was reportedly signed last week
when Russian deputy prime minister Dmitri Rogozin
visited Angola and includes the supply of eight
Sukhoi 30 hunt planes, transport Mi-17 helicopters,
ordinance, light weapons and ammunition.
The Angolan foreign affairs ministry had said the visit
was aimed at health, culture and fishing agreements.
Luanda was yet to react to the report but senior
members of the ruling MPLA and the opposition Unita
and PRS said they were unaware of such an
"I have no data about this matter, they are very
sensitive news having to do with our national
security," Voice of America quoted Unita's André
Mendes de Carvalho as saying.
"Let us wait if this will have an influence on our
country’s general budget so that we have an opinion
Angola, which is recovering from decades of civil war,
maintains close ties with Cold War ally Russia. The
southern African country also maintains a tight lid on
information about its military capacity, which
consumes a large chunk of its budget.
Such arms deals are also shrouded in deep secrecy,
with campaign groups alleging that they mainly
benefit the elite few.
In July UK-based Corruption Watch said some $750
million from an Angola Treasury arms deal with
Russia was "missing", while "another $400m could
not be accounted for".
Meanwhile Angolan soldiers have invaded the
southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo in
pursuit of rebels and had allegedly "kidnapped
soldiers", AFP reported Thursday.
Angolan troops were pursuing (rebels) of the Front
for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave (FLEC) on to
Congolese territory, which they use as a rear base,
the news agency reported.
FLEC has fought for independence for several
decades of Angola's oil-rich territory of Cabinda
before opting for a ceasefire in 2006.