According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) - a well-known research institution in Sweden - Egypt has become the third largest importer of arms in the world in 2020;
This is after Saudi Arabia and India.
According to the "Trends in International Arms Transfers" report issued by the institute a year ago, Egypt's arms imports increased by 136 percent over the past six years.
Egypt has become the second largest importer of Italian weapons in recent years, after the government signed arms deals with Rome worth between 10-12 billion dollars, including naval frigates, submarines, military satellites, and others.
What is more, Egypt has spent nearly $44 billion on arms purchases over the past decade, most of which came after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi seized power in 2014. Over the past eight years, President El-Sisi has concluded many arms deals with major countries such as France and Germany And Italy, the United States and Russia, which in some cases have achieved record numbers of arms manufacturers and sales in those countries.
In the details, we discover, for example, that Egypt became the second largest importer of arms from France, with a percentage of 20% of French arms sales abroad, during the period from 2016 to 2020. For example, Egypt concluded a deal to purchase French weapons, amounting to about $5.8 billion In February 2015, it included the purchase of 24 Rafale combat aircraft and a naval frigate.
In May 2021, Egypt signed a contract to purchase another 30 Rafale aircraft, amounting to $4.5 billion;
This made it the second largest country in the world to have a fleet of Rafale combat aircraft after France.
The remarkable thing is that the two deals were financed through foreign loans and debts to Egypt, whether to the French government or banks.
Another example is the arms deals concluded by President Sisi with Germany, which made Egypt the largest purchaser of German weapons during 2021. According to a report by the German Ministry of Economy, Egypt bought weapons from Germany equivalent to 4.8 billion dollars, which is the largest amount of German arms exports to countries outside the NATO countries. NATO and the European Union, according to the report.
Arms deals with Germany included naval and air weapons.
The third case is related to arms deals with Italy, which also reached record levels.
Egypt has become the second largest importer of Italian weapons in recent years, after the Egyptian government signed arms deals with Rome, amounting to between 10-12 billion dollars, including naval frigates, submarines, military satellites, and others.
Egypt also concluded arms deals with Russia worth billions of dollars.
According to the Stockholm International Institute report, Egyptian arms purchases from Russia have increased by 430% over the last 6 years.
Note that Russia is also building the "Dabaa" nuclear plant, which costs about $25 billion;
More than two-thirds of them are loans from Russia.
We cannot forget here the arms deals from America, the most recent of which was last January, when the White House agreed to sell arms to Egypt at a value of 2.5 billion dollars.
Not to mention the annual military aid to Egypt, which is estimated at about 1.3 billion dollars.
In contrast to the billions of dollars spent on arms in less than a decade, the size of poverty and the poor in Egypt increased during the same period and reached record levels as well.
According to several international reports, nearly two thirds of the Egyptian people (about 60 million people) live below the poverty line.
According to official Egyptian reports, about a third of the population (ie, approximately 30 million people) live below the poverty line, which means the inability to provide the basic needs of the individual such as food, drink, housing, health and education.
Rather, in some governorates, especially in Upper Egypt, the poverty rate has reached nearly 60% of the population, as is the case in the governorates of Assiut and Sohag.
The Egyptian middle class has also declined in return for an increase in the poor class, due to inflation and high prices, and at the same time, the level of income is stable or declining.
Whoever follows the arms deals and the huge sums spent on them during the past years, believes that Egypt has become a great power or that it is about to enter into a foreign war with a close enemy.
While the reality of the situation indicates that all these weapons have only one goal, which is to buy the political loyalty of Western countries in order to ensure their silence on the horrific human rights violations that are taking place in Egypt.
This is evident in the positions of a country such as France, whose President Emmanuel Macron has openly and brazenly refused to link arms sales to Egypt with the human rights file.
In December 2020, Sisi was even awarded the Legion of Honor, France's highest honor.
Therefore, these countries not only provide political support to one of the most authoritarian and corrupt regimes that ruled Egypt in its modern history, but they are also partners in the impoverishment of the Egyptian people by seizing their money and their livelihood.
We cannot help but remember and recall Al-Mutanabbi's timeless saying, "How many funny things in Egypt, but he laughed like crying."Keywords: