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Morocco, 29th globally largest arms importer, 2nd in Africa

Morocco was ranked the 2nd largest arms importer in Africa, according to a recent report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on global arms transfers for the 2016 to 2020 period.

The kingdom was ranked the second-largest arms importer on the African continent, with a 0.9% portion of international arms transfers in the last four years.

Arms imports by Morocco decreased by 60% between 2011-2015 and 2016–2020. The USA supplied 90% of Morocco’s arms imports in the four years between 2016 and 202.

By the end of 2020, several large arms deliveries to Morocco remained pending sale finalization or delivery, including for 24 combat aircraft and 24 combat helicopters.

Morocco was supplied 9.2% of its overall arms purchases from France from 2016 to 2020, while 0.3% of orders came from the UK.

The report states that “Morocco’s arms imports are likely to increase significantly in the coming five years if pending orders are implemented as planned,” considering multiple recent arms deals were reported in Morocco with both China and Israel in 2021, a year the report doesn’t take into account.

According to the SIPRI’s account, the largest arms importer on the continent was Algeria, taking up a whopping 4.3% of the global trade, followed by Morocco with its aforementioned 0.9%, then Angola (0.5%), all between the years of 2016 to 2020.

Taken together, the arms imports of Algeria and Morocco accounted for 70% of total African imports of major arms in the four years leading up to 2020.

Algeria’s arms imports were 64% higher in that four-year period than in the years between 2011 and 2015, making it the sixth-largest arms importer in the world.

Russia remained the largest arms supplier to Algeria in the period spanning from 2016 to 2020. Russian arms deliveries included 16 combat aircraft, 42 combat helicopters, and 2 submarines.

Other notable deliveries to Algeria included 2 frigates from Germany and 2 frigates from China in that four-year period.

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