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Africa's military spending drops by 5.3% due to cuts by Angola

Africa's military spending drops by 5.3% due to cuts by Angola

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Military spending in Africa fell by 5.3 percent after 11 years of steady increase. This is according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute (SIPRI).

It disclosed that the military expenditure in Africa fell despite being on the rise for the last decade crediting the decrease to due to the large cut by Angola, the largest spender in sub-Saharan Africa, in the wake of the sharp fall in oil prices.

At the global level, the SIPRI said nearly $1.7 billion was spent in 2015 on the military. The one percent hike in global military spending was the first year of growth in total military purchasing by governments across the world since 2011.

On the one hand, spending trends reflect the escalating conflict and tension in many parts of the world

The total military purchases reached $1,676 billion in 2015, consuming some 2.3 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

The increase according to the report by SIPRI, reflects continuing growth in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and some Middle Eastern states.

“On the one hand, spending trends reflect the escalating conflict and tension in many parts of the world; on the other hand, they show a clear break from the oil-fuelled surge in military spending of the past decade,” said head of the SIPRI’s military expenditure project, Sam Perlo-Freeman.

The US remained the world’s biggest military spender with a budget of nearly $600 billion. But according to the Center for International Policy, the actual figure could be as high as $1 trillion if the Pentagon’s “black budget,” “contingency” money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other hidden expenses are taken into account.

China placed second having spent $215 billion. “Heightening tensions between China and various countries in the region” the SIPRI report noted contributed to substantial increases in expenditure.

With an overall spending by Middle Eastern governments up by at least 4 percent in 2015, according to the report, Saudi Arabia rose to become the third largest spender with $87.2 billion. $5.3 billion of this amount was spent on its year-old war in Yemen.

Russia was the fourth largest spender on the military spending a total of $66.4 billion. Russia which has been engaged in recent conflicts in Ukraine and Syria has reportedly increased its budget by about 90 percent.

India moved up one rank to emerge the sixth largest military spender in 2015 having spent $51.3 billion about 3.1 percent of the global military expenditure.

India is also ahead of countries like France, Germany and Israel who happen to be among its top arms suppliers.

Governments worldwide are scrambling to beef up their forces in response to ongoing war scares and feverish geopolitical tensions.