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On Small Arms, Swiss Show ICP Changes After Grenades to Syria Rebels

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 16 -- To release the Small Arms Survey 2014, the Swiss Mission to the UN invited journalists to an UNtelevised briefing in the UN basement on June 16. One of the slides listed the United Arab Emirates as tied for the least transparent country in terms of arms transfers.

  Inner City Press asked the Swiss Deputy Permanent Representative on the panel about the Swiss grenades, transferred to the UAE, which ended up through Jordan in the hands of rebels in Syria, written about here in July 2012 by Inner City Press.

  A Swiss representative in the meeting promised to provide further information later in the day, so Inner City Press waited on this report. True to his word, the representative provided a link (in German) to changes in Swiss law after exposure of the grenades. Translated:

“Bern, 10.10.2012 - On the occasion of the conclusion of the investigation to the Swiss grenades in Syria, the Federal Council had the FDEA on 21 September 2012 together with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to prepare an adaptation of the War Material Regulation in the non re-export declarations. In the adopted by the Federal Council today amending the War Material Regulation (new Article 5a KMV) is held that a failure to re-export declaration by the Government of the country of destination is required for the authorization of exports of finished products as well as individual parts or assemblies to a foreign government. It is committed to the country of destination to run the war material without the consent of the Swiss authorities to sell, rent, give away or otherwise disposed of in any other way to third parties abroad.”

  As explained to Inner City Press by the Swiss Mission representative, “Hi Matthew - about Switzerland changing its law on exports of military material Following the Syrian episode... according to Swiss law the authorization of the export of Swiss military material requests to end-user-clause (Meaning the receiving country commits Itself to not re-export imported Swiss military material to third countries nor to give it away as a gift). In addition it gives the Swiss Authorities the right in Certain cases Themselves to control the compliance with this end-user-clause in the importing country.”

  Inner City Press also asked about where the weapons air-dropped into Libya's Nafusa mountains by France have ended up. Nicolas Florquin, Senior Researcher at the Small Arms Survey, pointed Inner City Press to an upcoming session he said would be on the topic. Watch this site.


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