Weapons For Zimbabwe May Return To China
April 23, 2008 4 Comments
Last week we posted an article on a Chinese arms ship destined to Zimbabwe loaded with 77 tonnes of ammunition which included AK47′s and grenades. The ship was subsequently bar by a judge from unloading the weapons at the South African port of Durban to cross the country to landlocked Zimbabwe. The ship went on to sail to try its luck at other Southern Africa ports.
Now it looks like the vessel, the An Yue Jiang may have no choice but to return to its origins with its shipment of weapons. That’s because Mozambique, Angola and Namibia under international pressure and lead by the Bush administration have also denied access to the ship docking and unloading at their ports in case they risk hurting relations with the US.
China insisted that the shipment of mortar grenades, ammunition and other weapons was part of “normal military product trade between the two countries.”
“As far as I know, the carrier is now considering carrying back the cargo.” China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
The spokeswoman added that the shipment was signed last year and was “unrelated to recent developments” in Zimbabwe.
“I have nothing against the Chinese, but I do have something against the way they are arming the regime in Zimbabwe with war weapons with which our people will be repressed,” MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio.
China is under an international spotlight over its human rights record and rule in Tibet ahead of hosting the Olympics games in August. Violent protests have followed the Olympic torch across the globe.
Mugabe is under heavy international pressure to release the results of rh presidential elections, which the opposition Movement fo Democratic Change [MDC] say it was ending the vetern leader’s long rule.
Meanwhile Mr Mugabe’s Deputy Information Minister Bright Matongo said his country had the right to acquire arms from legitimate source, stating that Zimbabwe was not a rebel country.
See previous article – UPDATED – Chinese Arms Ship Destined For Mugabe Regime – Documents Issued 3 Days After Zimbabwe Elections!!!
[Adapted from International Press Reports]