The 54th edition of the International Aeronautics and Space Show, better known as the Salon du Bourget, closes its doors on Sunday June 25. With approximately 2,500 exhibitors for 320,000 expected visitors, this show is the unmissable global aviation event, but also, a fact about which the organizers of Le Bourget are less fond of boasting, the major international meeting place for aviation merchants. weapons.
This year, France again confirmed its 3rd place in the world in terms of arms exports, behind the United States and Russia. And it continued to deliver weapons to the latter until 2021, without any scruple, in total opacity for the general public.
Because yes, indeed, unlike many democratic states, in terms of manufacturing, purchases and sales of arms and military equipment abroad, our country is not really characterized by its transparency on the subject.
Whether at the national level, where parliamentarians, even when they sit on the respective defense committees of the National Assembly and the Senate, do not have access to all the information and are too often opposed to the “secret-defense”, where at the local level, when communities subsidize private companies in the sector without any real monitoring of the consequences of their activities abroad, opacity reigns supreme over the sector.
Wars and repressions
However, investigations by certain associations and NGOs or journalists have demonstrated in recent years how advanced weapons and military equipment manufactured in France have been able to end up in theaters of operations and at the heart of extremely problematic armed conflicts in terms of human rights. humans. Recently, the Armaments Observatory identified eleven companies, among the most important in the sector, established in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and associated in one way or another with wars and repressions across the planet, some of which received subsidies from the regional council.
Similarly, investigative media Disclose has, for example, demonstrated in 2019 how France sold weapons to Saudi Arabia that were used to bomb civilians in Yemen, making our country complicit in one of the most serious humanitarian crises on the planet. We have never ceased to demand that those responsible for these exports be brought to justice, alongside the NGOs who have lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court.
Instead of changing course, the government persists in making the greatest dictators in the region the first customers of French arms, like Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, despite their propensity to use them against their own people.
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