Africa News blog

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The cash cost of war

June 10, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We often hear of the human cost of war. We don’t often see the cash cost laid out so baldly as in the price list that went with my colleague Abdi Sheikh’s feature from Mogadishu on the arms market that thrives in the city amid Somalia’s tragedy.

Among popular weapons, a 120 mm mortar costs $700, plus $55 for each mortar bomb. A 23 mm anti-aircraft gun (truck mounted), fetches a hefty $20,000.

Pistols range from $400 to $1,000 according to condition and country of origin. An Indian-made AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle costs $140. Better quality versions from North Korea cost $600 and the Russian original costs $400. Hand-grenades go for $25 each, landmines $100.

Huge weapons systems, such as nuclear missiles, are the stuff of international geopolitics. But in Africa at least, the weapons that are killing people on a daily basis in places like Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur are more modest in scale and can be bought at a relatively low cost.

Comments

An Indian-made AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle costs $140. Better quality versions from North Korea cost $600 and the Russian original costs $400.

Considering the $200 price difference, does this mean that the North Korean version of the Kalashnikov is better than than the Russian original?

 

Very informative post about an under-reported topic. Thank you.

 

It’s the biggest business in the world! The U.S., the largest ‘company’ selling weapons of mass destruction! Although we don’t want to admit! Always we project onto others, when we are, in fact, the culprits!

 

At long last some one is thinking about the business involved in sending guns to africa to kill human beings, sometimes i wonder if there is any equality in this world!!!!! in europe or america gun killing someone with a gun is a criminal case but in african governments killing innocent civilians is their cup of tea.

When will the west stop sending them guns and send food and medicine instead!”!!!!!! think again.

Posted by KINGK | Report as abusive
 

I saw movie called “Loard of Wars” it is on same lines. Where Nicholas cage is trader of arms ammunation selling to both parties.

Posted by neeraj | Report as abusive
 

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