ExitArms identifies companies around the world that make part of their profits by selling weapons to war zones. Some particularly drastic examples of this practice and the use of these weapons, are summarized in case studies. For this purpose, both the recipient states and individual companies are examined in more detail.
The war in Ukraine skyrocket the stock of Germany's largest arms manufacturer, Rheinmetall, to record levels. On the eve of the Russian attack, it stood at around 95 euros, two month later in April 2022 at 214.8 euros. An increase of 150 percent. Rheinmetall can look back not only on an economically successful fiscal year 2021, but also on a rosy future. The company consists of two divisions, Automotive and Defence. The Defence sector now dominates with a 63 percent share of sales and is expected to rise to around 70 percent in 20251. In 2021, arms sales of around 67 percent of total sales went to countries in the European Union, 42 percent to non-EU countries, in particular Australia and parts of the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa2.
Since a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia entered Yemen in 2015, the country has been ravaged by continuous air strikes, arbitrary artillery attacks and numerous violations of fundamental human rights. The anti-Houthi coalition consists of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sudan, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Most airstrikes are launched by Saudi Arabia – often hitting civilian targets. These attacks constitute violations of customary international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes, as they violate the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.