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Tom Brake MP to ask Blair tough questions on arms sales to Africa

February 25, 2004 12:00 AM

Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat International Development Spokesman, will today ask the Prime Minister to justify his claims made last December that the Government were preventing the sale of small arms to African countries.

Doubts have now been raised over these claims by an Oxfam report published today that shows that small arms and small arms components were sold to 12 African countries in 2002 including many embroiled in violent regional conflict such as Angola and The Ivory Coast.

Mr Brake's question is number 3 in PMQ's.

Commenting ahead of his question, Mr Brake said:

"The Government's pledge to make international development a priority when it takes on the presidencies of the EU and G8 next year, will amount to nothing more than cynical posturing if it does not plug the arms' loophole.

"The Prime Minister must explain why he said the Government were preventing small arms sales to African countries when in 2002 licenses were obtained for the export of small arms to 12 African states."

Tony Blair's claims were made in a response to a question from Charles Kennedy on the 9th December 2003.

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