[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Chinese arms still en route... where?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri May 23 08:47:03 BST 2008
Zim denies taking delivery of Chinese arms
22 May 2008 03:05
The Zimbabwe government on Thursday denied taking delivery of a
consignment of weapons from China after a ship carrying the arms was
prevented from unloading its cargo.
"The shipment did not dock and there has not been delivery as yet,"
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi told journalists in Harare.
"The shipment is part of a routine equipment for our defence. Zimbabwe
has always procured equipment from the People's Republic of China,"
A South African newspaper reported over the weekend that the weapons had
reached their destination, although the report was unclear over whether
the arms had been offloaded in Angola or the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The ship identified as the An Yue Jiang, which belongs to Cosco, a
Chinese state-owned shipping firm, was forced to abandon plans to
offload the arms in Durban last month after workers refused to carry out
Sekeramayi described the controversy which surrounded the ship's failure
to dock as a "hullabaloo".
There were fears that the arms could be used to crack down on opposition
supporters following parliamentary and presidential elections in
Zimbabwe in March, both of which the Movement for Democratic Change won.
The An Yue Jiang was carrying three million rounds of assault rifle
ammunition, 3 000 mortar rounds and 1 500 rocket-propelled grenades,
according to an inventory. - Sapa-AFP
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