Updated: 5/16/2006; 2:27:55 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Monday, May 17, 2004


Arms trafficker protected: report: "BRITAIN had bowed to US pressure to keep the name of a notorious arms trafficker off a list of those subject to planned United Nations sanctions, the Financial Times reported today.  "London had originally supported moves to freeze Mr (Victor) Bout's assets, but appeared to have reversed its view under pressure from Washington," the newspaper said, citing evidence from several western diplomats.

In 2000, Peter Hain, then British foreign office minister responsible for Africa, described Victor Bout as "the chief sanctions-buster and ... a merchant of death who owns air companies that ferry in arms" to rebel and government forces in several African conflicts, including Liberia, Angola and Sierra Leone. ..

The paper quoted a senior western diplomat close to the UN negotiations as saying, "We are disgusted that Bout won't be on the list, even though he is the principal arms dealer in the region. If we want peace in that region (of West Africa), it seems evident that he should be on that list."

According to the anonymous diplomats cited in the Financial Times report, the US may be using an air freight company linked to Bout to help supply their forces in Iraq. "The American defence forces are using Victor's planes for their logistics," a former senior UN official told the paper."

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 2:27:55 PM.