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Zimbabwe: Chinese Ship In Durban 'Carrying Arms For Harare'

Issue 326
Front Page

Agriculture, Public Works And Interior Ministers Plotting Appropriation Of Haatuf Premises

Foreign Minister Dualle Faces Strong Criticism After Accusing Donors Of Interference

The Donor Statement That Angered The Somaliland Government

Meles Zenawi: An Impatient Ally

The Somaliland President trip Washington: "The Most successful one"

Somaliland Offers High Risk For Big Potential Gains

Is Somaliland A Tinderbox Waiting To Explode?

Suspicion as 40 sport utility trucks unload at Puntland port

Regional Affairs

Insecurity Choking Off Aid Work In Puntland Region: Donors

Man shot 'for Christian beliefs'

Djibouti Hunts For Abuse Suspects

Special Report

International News

France presses for war on piracy in the high seas

Peace group to end tribal feud

Eden Prairie Man Is Returned To U.S. To Stand Trial


The Inconvenient Truth About Immigration: Rageh Omaar Asks Was Enoch Powell Right?

A Hint Of Hope For A Broken Country

Dilemmas Of The Horn

The Misfortunes Of Somalia

Separatist Movements - Should Nations Have A Right To Self-Determination?

High food prices threaten stability in the Arab world

Food for thought


NSPU (Or ASSC-S): You Can Run But You Cannot Hide

Kosovo And Somaliland: The Impossible Equation-III

Silence Today, Is To Betray Somaliland

'I Was A Good Gestapo' Says Somaliland Minister

Somaliland Needs A Political Revolution

Is There A Similarity Between Dahir Riyale And Mugabe?

Durban, Apr 17, 2008 – A Chinese ship allegedly carrying armaments for the Zimbabwean army was cleared to dock in Durban yesterday afternoon, following a long wait for clearance outside the harbor.

The vessel An Yue Jiang, owned by the parastatal Chinese Ocean Shipping Company, was the subject of intense speculation as it spent the day marooned in the far reaches of Durban's outer anchorage. News reports suggested it had been denied permission to dock.

The Democratic Alliance 's spokesperson on defense, Rafeek Shah, said the vessel was alleged to be carrying several container-loads of weapons for the Zimbabwe Defense Force, including mortars, more than 3000 mortar bombs and 1500 rocket-propelled grenades.

However, the vessel's captain, in a radio phone interview with Sapa, denied that it was carrying "dangerous cargo".

Shah's information is that the ship is carrying 3800 cases of weaponry and ammunition in six containers, that the delivery address is the Zimbabwe Defence Force, Causeway, Harare, and the point of origin on the cargo manifest is Beijing.

Transnet's statement said only that SA's ports did handle "sensitive cargo" from time to time. "We have to comply with a number of international protocols -- like the International Ship and Port Security Code and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code," it said.

Shah asked about compliance with SA's own National Conventional Arms Control Act, which prohibits exporting arms to conflict zones.

"Doesn't that act prohibit SA from exporting arms into situations of civil conflict?" he said. "Surely this also applies to transshipments?"

Shah pointed out that this occasion offered an example of how SA could put pressure on the Mugabe regime.

Sanctions would have to be a Southern African Development Community initiative -- if not a measure of the New Partnership for Africa's Development -- he argued, or the armaments could simply be imported by Zimbabwe's defense force through another country.

A Durban lawyer said that any armaments imports -- even for transshipment to another country -- had to comply with "rigid procedures". This was the case, he said, "irrespective of whether you are talking about a single cartridge or an F16".

Source: Business Day ( South Africa)


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