File photo: South Africa has also supplied military equipment to the UN mission in the war-torn Central African Republic.

Johannesburg - The arms industry in South Africa has seen the sale of arms to other countries soaring to R2.7-billion last year, including to countries in conflict.

The National Conventional Arms Control Committee has said in a report, tabled in Parliament recently, that South Africa sold arms to countries including Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nigeria and Burundi.

Burundi is in the midst of a civil war after President Pierre Nkurunziza extended his term in office by another five years.

This has sparked civil unrest in his country, leading to what human right groups say is a clampdown on the opposition.

South Africa sold armoured combat vehicles to the value of R44-million to troubled Burundi last year.

President Jacob Zuma told Parliament three weeks ago that he had signed a military treaty with Nigeria in its battle with the insurgent Islamic group Boko Haram.

In Nigeria, South Africa sold armoured combat vehicles worth R64.8-million, artillery for R1.28-million, bombs for R9.7-million and ammunition for R31.8-million.

Boko Haram has killed hundreds of Nigerians in the past few years and kidnapped villagers and schoolgirls.

On his visit to Nigeria three weeks ago, Zuma signed a number of treaties, including on military co-operation.

Nigerian President Mu- hammadu Buhari has promised to clamp down on the militant Islamist group.


In east Africa, South Africa has sold arms to Kenya, another country in trouble with Islamists.

Al-Shabaab has been crossing the border from Somalia to bomb Kenya for its involvement in AU missions designed to clear the group out of Somalia.

In Kenya, South Africa has sold armoured combat vehicles worth R13.3-million and ammunition to the tune of R1.6-million.

The Islamist group has conducted a number of raids into Kenya, leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

In Iraq the government has been fighting Islamists since the end of the Saddam Hussein reign in the early 2000s.

Last year, South Africa sold armoured combat vehicles valued at R160.9-million to Iraq, as well as missile launchers costing R44.8-million.

Azerbaijan has been involved in a border conflict with neighbouring Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a landlocked area in the South Caucasus.

The conflict has been sporadic since 1994, a few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

South Africa has sold to Azerbaijan armoured combat vehicles for R26.6-million, heavy weapons for R16.1-million and warning equipment for R37.2-million.

South Africa has also supplied military equipment to the UN mission in the war-torn Central African Republic, which has been engulfed in conflict since the ousting of President Francois Boziza three years ago.

As part of the mission, South Africa has given the UN operation armoured combat vehicles.

The Star