oa Arms Control : Africa - South African arms exports : a balancing act

Volume 2, Issue 5
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Democratic states that have a domestic arms industry with an export capacity face a fundamental moral dilemma : the arms and the military equipment that they sell or donate to other states can directly or indirectly violate the core principles and values upon which democracies have been established, especially the protection of human rights. Hence, most arms exporting democracies, including South Africa, apply human rights protection criteria when determining arms export destinations. Nevertheless, human rights concerns are often weighed up against competing national and diplomatic considerations.

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