Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chinese arms are now in Zimbabwe

From BNN:

On April 25th, the Angolan press agency reported that Mugabe sent the Zimbabwean minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as a special envoy to Angola.

On Saturday, April 26, the Chinese ship was given permission to land in Luanda, Angola, but only to unload “merchandise destined for Angola.” The news story cited a government statement that “The weaponry that the ship brings destined for Zimbabwe is not authorised to be unloaded on national territory.”

A follow up report on May 6th by Reuters claims only the cement was offloaded in Luanda, and that the International Trade Unionists had monitored the situation to prevent the arms from being offloaded.

Yet today, SWRadioAfrica reports that government officials now claim the arms are in Zimbabwe:....

An editorial in the Nyasa Times (Malawi) protests the involvement of their country in the slight of hand that allowed the arms to be offloaded:

Malawi’s involvement in the Zimbabwe crisis has become highly questionable, especially with the prospect of Malawi clearing the Chinese arms cargo from Angola. Malawi’s suspicious dealings with Zimbabwe goes back to 2005, when there was an international outcry over claims that the country was flouting western sanctions in supplying the Zimbabwe police force with tear gas. The tear gas was linked to the death of 11 people in a single incident in Zimbabwe. In the event of the second round, there is great fear that the police, army and militias will use weapons to intimidate and terrorise the electorate to facilitate Mugabe’s victory......

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