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Egypt Western arms prop up Egyptian military’s rule

WESTERN states are propping up Egypt’s military rulers by flogging the country weapons with few strings attached, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International said yesterday.

In a new report, the group said that financial and military aid from Western states and arms manufacturers had helped the Egyptian military consolidate its hold on power.

The publication comes shortly before Egypt’s presidential election, which ex-general Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi will win handily.

He only faces one opponent, who actually supports Mr Sissi and worked for him until recently.

Other potential candidates have all been intimidated away or arrested for daring to file their registrations.

Britain has exported over £300 million of arms to Egypt in the past 10 years and strongly supports Mr Sissi.

Transparency International said that the size of the military’s budget was unknown and that it was “a largely opaque and unaccountable institution.”

The military has its own economic interests, owning many companies, and has controlled the country for most of the past 70 years.

That was interrupted briefly with the election of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, though he was overthrown after just over a year in office in July 2013.


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