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Verify the facts: Does Germany deliver weapons to conflict zones?

Germany deliver weapons | Germany’s government has denied Ukraine’s requests for weaponry transfers, claiming that as a matter of principle, Germany does not provide weapons of war to areas of armed conflict. This position has frequently been disregarded, according to a DW fact check.

Russian intelligence agencies claim that over 100,000 soldiers have been stationed on the country’s border with Ukraine. That poses a real military danger in the eyes of the Ukrainians and the West, which is why several nations are providing Ukraine with arms and equipment. Germany has so far provided 5,000 helmets on its end.

This consignment of safety equipment is insufficient for the Ukrainian government. It formally requested on Friday that the German government deliver defence firearms and ammunition. Berlin has, however, thus far turned down the request.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Chancellor Olaf Scholz both underlined the political principle of the German government’s refusal to transfer weapons to conflict zones. The coalition agreement between the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, and the Conservatives states that “exceptions can only be given in justified individual circumstances, which must be recorded in a publicly available form.”and the Free Democrats (FDP) stipulates.

German exports of weapons: A clear position?

Germany deliver weapons Angry social media critics have noted that Germany has historically made exceptions. A DW user from Ukraine said on Facebook last week, “Ask Germans about arms supply to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and UAE.” Another remark says, “German weaponry are utilised in wars and violent conflicts all over the world, including by the IS, by the way.

But is it actually the case?

Claim: Speaking on German public television ARD on Sunday, Scholz reiterated the government’s position on the matter and prior declarations. ” The German government has been quite clear that we do not send lethal weapons to the Ukraine or to countries experiencing crises.

Fact check by DW: FALSE

Germany deliver weapons A defence and security specialist at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Christian Mölling, told DW, “We have definitely delivered in the past, but always on a situation-by-situation basis. This suggests that Germany adheres to the notion of a case-by-case approach. We consider every situation separately.”

DW has received confirmation from Pieter Wezeman of the Stockholm Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI) that Germany had recently transferred weaponry to conflict zones.

The claim that Germany has never provided weaponry to nations or parties to a fight is obviously untrue, he added. There are several instances when we can establish that German weaponry have been explicitly exported, naturally with the German government’s consent, or with the government’s particular help, or even solely by the German government alone.

War in Yemen with German weaponry

Germany deliver weapons For instance, since 2010, Egypt has received the fifth-most German armament shipments, according to statistics from SIPRI’s trend indicator value. According to information from the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, export permits of roughly €4.34 billion ($5 billion) were granted for Egypt between January 1 and December 14, 2021.

While Chancellor Angela Merkel was still in office, the previous German government accepted the majority of the authorizations, despite the fact that the Egyptian military is currently engaged in hostilities in Yemen and Libya and has come under fire for committing egregious human rights violations.

Germany deliver weapons Wezeman speculates that Egypt may be deploying German armaments in the conflicts in Yemen and Libya. He said that there are two primary categories for the commodities that Germany sends to Egypt. The installation of air defence systems is the initial phase. They don’t seem to have much to do with the conflict in Yemen, as far as I can tell.”

Germany deliver weapons Warships, the other commodity group, might present a challenge. As a naval blockade has played a significant role in the sort of conflict we have previously witnessed in Yemen, he asserted that the frigates themselves “definitely may play a role.” Wezeman argues that significant shipments of weapons like this one uphold and legitimise Egypt’s military regime.

Germany deliver weapons Germany has also sent armaments to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar, along with other nations whose forces have been fighting in Yemen since 2015. Qatar has been given permission to acquire ammunition for cannons, rifles, shotguns, and parts for howitzer ammunition that are listed on the War Weapons List, an annex to Germany’s War Weapons Control Act.

This is stated in the German government’s 2020 weapons export report. The German government also gave its clearance for Qatar to get 15 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks in the latter half of 2020.

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