Despite its determination to renovate its military, Morocco remains far behind Algeria.
Rabat – The 2018 Trends in International Arms Transfers report, released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), ranked Algeria among the top five importers of major arms in the world between 2014 and 2018.
While Algeria ranked fifth and imports 4.4 percent of the world’s traded arms, the report listed Morocco 24th with a 1.1 percent share of arms imports.
Despite the notable difference between Morocco and Algeria, Morocco has gained six places, because it was ranked 30 in the 2017 report of arms transfers.
Algeria ranked seventh in the same previous report.
The report identified 155 countries as importers of major arms in the 2014-2018 period. The top four importers are India, Australia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
In Africa, arms imports decreased by 6.5 percent from 2009-13 to 2014-18.
Morocco accounted for 15 percent of all arms imports in Africa. Meanwhile, Algeria accounted for 56 percent of African imports.
Including Libya and Tunisia, the North African countries accounted for 75 percent of African arms imports.
While the trend of African arms imports has been on the decline, the four North African countries, according to the report, increased their imports by 20 percent between 2009-13 and 2014-2018.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the top five arms importers were Nigeria, Angola, Sudan, Cameroon, and Senegal. The five countries accounted for 56 percent of the arms imports in the region.
The US and France, which top the list of major arms exporters, are Morocco’s main suppliers.
Morocco received 62 percent of its arms from the US in the period of 2014-2018. France, which is the world’s third largest arms exporter, was the source of 32 percent of the major arms Morocco imported in the same period.
Russia, however, remains the top supplier for Algeria, accounting for 66 percent of Algerian arms imports in 2014-2018, compared with 90 percent in 2009-2013.
In the 2014-2018 period, Russia delivered a total of 55 percent of its arms exports to India, China, and Algeria.
China and Germany are also major arms suppliers for Algeria.
In its 2017 world military expenditure report, SIPRI said that Algeria is Africa’s largest importer of military arms because it spend $10 billion for its military, in contrast to Morocco, which spends $3.4 billion.
SIPRI added that this was the first decrease in Algeria’s military spending since 2003.
A recent report from the Global Firepower Index (GFP) ranked Morocco’s military power 60th globally.
The report recalled that Morocco has 1,109 combat tanks, 800 artilleries of three different types, and 2,270 armored fighting vehicles.
Algeria ranked second in Africa in the report due to its higher defense budget and lower external debt.