Germany’s churches denounced their country’s growing arms sales to the Gulf states and demanded tighter export controls on weapons manufacturers.
“Over the past 20 years, the federal government’s reporting of contracts has become quicker and more transparent, while public awareness and debate around the issue has also intensified,” said Mgr Karl Justen, director of the German Church’s Catholic Office in Berlin and co-chairman of the Catholic-Protestant Joint Conference on Church and Development, known by its German acronym as GKKE.
“But while government policy allows exports to third countries in regions of crisis and conflict only in justified individual cases, the data show otherwise – this is why we’re asking for a new law requiring the reasons for arms exports to be stated,” he said.
Speaking at the Berlin launch of the join conference’s latest report on 12th December, the priest said government licenses and German arms exports had risen 96 per cent in 2015 to a value of £10.9billion, with 59 per cent going to non-NATO countries.
He added that government figures for the first half of 2016 had “confirmed the negative trend,” with a further sharp increase over the previous year.
Picture: Supporters of the Houthi rebel movement ride a truck during an anti-Saudi gathering to mobilize more fighters into multiple Yemeni battlefronts in late November in Sanaa, Yemen. Germany’s Churches denounced their country’s growing arms sales to the Gulf states and demanded tighter export controls on weapons manufacturers. (CNS photo/Yahya Arhab, EPA).