Monday , October 3 2022

Australia's Advanced Weapon Buyer Party finally revealed



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Canberra

Australia's advanced weaponry system has been sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for months. But neither the seller nor the Australian government was willing to mention who bought it.

The latest photographic evidence from ABC now reveals the secret.

This photo, sent from an anonymous source, shows how this weaponry system will be shipped from Sydney Airport.

It was also revealed that the seller of the latest generation of long range weapon systems is the Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS).

And buyers are the UAE Armed Forces who have so far been blamed for war crimes in Yemen.

Attitude to the war in Yemen

The EOS Remote Weapon System (RWS) owns small cannons, heavy machine guns, or rocket launchers that can rotate and be equipped with sensors.

This system is mounted on combat vehicles or warships and can be launched remotely.

Large, highly armored vehicle with a gun mounted on top.
Combat vehicles equipped with the EOS R400 Dual weapon system can fire guns and machine guns by remote control. (ESOs)

In December 2018, ABC reported that EOS had sold this UAE weapon system, but the company is reluctant to explain whether the buyer is civilian or military.

The Australian government itself has been criticized for granting EOS export licenses amid accusations of malfeasance in UAE troops in Yemen.

"The sale of this long-term UAE weapons system is very worrying because we know that the UAE is a member of the Yemeni war coalition," said Human Rights Watch Australian Elaine Pearson.

"This coalition includes bombing indiscriminately civilian purposes, as well as hospitals and schools," he said.

EOS has contacted the refusal to answer questions, but in April his leader Fred Barth persuaded the stock market not to worry.

"There are no EOS products that have been or are being used in Yemen," he said.

He explained that arms exports to EOS are subject to approval by the Australian and US authorities.

"This double restriction makes the products one of the most controlled in the world because the United States and Australia are very concerned about the law on armed conflict and the application of high standards of human rights," said Fred Barth.

But the company did not answer for sure when asked if their weapons products would be sent to Yemen in the future.

"We do not have EOS end users who are likely to spread it to Yemen," said EOS Chief Executive Dr. Ben Green.

A man brings a young girl through the ruins after an air strike in Yemen.
Childs rescued by their parents after an air strike in Saudi Arabia in Sana, Yemen, killed eight members of their families in 2017 (Reuters: Khaled Abdullah)

Investors sell their shares

Two months after ABC announced a $ 400 million deal for EOS and UAE deals, ABC showed that EOS also participated in an export deal with Orbital ATK from the United States, which will send 500 RWS to the Ministry of the Interior of Saudi Arabia.

The criticism of the EOS agreement with the UAE and Saudi Arabia has led to a demonstration outside of the company's office.

Indeed, the company's investors have begun to be affected. One of the largest shareholders, the manager of the pension fund IFM Investors, has sold its shares to EOS in recent months.

The sale of shares follows fears that Australian pension funds have been used to buy shares in arms companies linked to countries accused of war crimes in Yemen.

Photo proof

All Australian arms companies are required to declare "end users" of their products. The aim is to ensure that weapons produced in Australia are not used for war crimes.

The Australian government and this company are reluctant to disclose the end user, on the pretext that it will have a negative impact on the company's ability to sell its products.

The company also does not want to explain whether there are any guarantees that end-users get about how and where the weapons will be used.

But the latest snapshots of the RWS blocks at a Sydney warehouse reveal the military UAE and Saudi Arabia as ship destinations.

These photos show four export shipments in June and July – two for the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

One photo shows a pallet containing RWS units waiting to be exported earlier this month.

The label says the recipients are Abu Dhabi Joint Logistics Command.

Photo of a G400 Remote Weapon Station.
The ultimate recipient of the EOS weapons system is the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates. (Attached)

Another photo on the computer screen is said to be the "recipient" of the UAE "GHQ" Armed Forces or the General Staff.

The pictures were sewn together.
The photo from the shipping account shows the EOS Armaments System (formerly known as the Fire Control System) sent by RWS directly to the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. (Attached)

EOS exports directly to Saudi Arabia

Some photos taken by ABC also revealed the delivery of the RWS package to the Ministry of Interior of the Department of Arms and Explosives.

Picture of the label on the package flying from Sydney Airport. Weapons sent to Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry.

delivered

This fact is interesting because in February, EOS CEO Dr. Ben Green explained to ABC that his company had no direct contract with Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Green said EOS had exported the RWS unit to Orbital ATK, a US company that then exported RWS to Saudi Arabia.

But this photo shows that EOS sends RWS goods directly to Riyadh without intermediaries.

Airline
A picture of the shipping account shows that EOS has been sent to Saudi Arabia's armaments department. (Attached)


Stop supplying weapons

The Yemeni war began in 2015 when a Saudi coalition supporting the Yemeni government was attacking the targets of the rebels of the Huiti. The military from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the main players of the coalition.

Earlier this month, the UAE said it was starting to withdraw its troops from there.

The war in the poorest country in Arabia is described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Because 80% of the population or about 24 million people now need help.

The latest report says about 100,000 people have been killed, 12,000 of whom are civilians.

In 2017, the UN set up an expert group to investigate human rights violations in Yemen. Their report was published last year.

Mrs. Park is a desk with a bundle of papers.
Melissa Parke is one of the UN experts who produced reports on the behavior of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia during the Yemeni war. (ABC News)

"The expert group in the report notes that all parties to the Yemeni conflict, in particular the coalitions run by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law," said Melissa Parche , one of the authors of the report.

Another expert group report will be published in September and will likely criticize the UAE, Saudi Arabia and countries selling weapons to them.

"The proliferation of weapons in Yemen has continued the conflict," said Melissa Parke, who is also a former member of the Australian Parliament.

"The international community is collectively responsible for stopping supplies of arms to the countries involved in the conflict," he said.

Prohibition of sale in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

The courts in the United Kingdom last month ruled that the sale of Saudi Arabian weapons was illegal.

In May, human rights groups tried to block the transport of French weapons to Saudi Arabian ships.

Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway have stopped selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Last month, the US Senate blocked the sale of billions of dollars of ammunition in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

A number of Australian non-governmental organizations, including HRW, Save the Children, Amnesty International and Oxfam, have formed a Weapons Control Coalition in Australia, lobbying the government to stop Saudi Arabia's arms sales until the country proves that these weapons will not be used for war crimes.

The Australian defense export strategy will spend $ 200 billion by 2028 to make Australia the tenth largest exporter of weapons in the world. It is currently the 20th largest position.

"Remember that millions of innocent civilians, women and Yemeni children bear the weight of this war, their suffering is enormous," said Melissa Parke.

"Australia as a member of the UN Human Rights Council can play an important role in the protection of Yemeni civilians." Giving weapons to conflict participants is inconsistent with this role, "he said.

See full news in English here.

(Italy / ITA)



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