Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Zimbabwe Gets Arms Shipment

Darn! Double darn!!

The Age (Australia) reported yesterday that the shipment of Chinese arms reached Zimbabwe.

ZIMBABWE'S regime appears to have been strengthened before a presidential election with a shipment of arms from China.

Reports said the weapons, including 3 million bullets, mortar bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, had been unloaded from the Chinese vessel, the An Yue Jiang, at the Angolan port of Lobito and flown to Harare.

The ship had been the focus of international condemnation when it sailed towards South Africa last month. It was refused docking rights and remained off the coast for weeks before the Chinese Foreign Ministry recalled it.

However, Zimbabwe's Deputy Information Minister, Bright Matonga, was quoted by South African newspaper The Weekender as saying the regime had the weapons. Two Zimbabwean ministers and senior army officers visited Luanda three weeks ago to negotiate the docking and unloading of the ship.

Presidential spokesman George Chiramba said in state-controlled newspaper The Herald that "the arms will be delivered to Zimbabwe, one way or the other".

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said confirmation of the delivery was "groundless rumour".

It's hard to know who to believe, the tyrannical-dictator liars or the other tyrannical-dictator liars. I'm disposed to believe that Robert Mugabe's regime received the weapons, because he really wanted them, and China really wanted him to get them.

Not that Mugabe needed them, considering how much damage he's done to the opposition party, driving many to flee the country--those who weren't beaten or killed first.

The reports [of the arms delivery] came days after the election commission in Zimbabwe announced that the delayed presidential run-off would take place on June 27. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change — whose leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, delayed his return to Zimbabwe at the weekend due to "credible" reports of an assassination attempt — said it feared the shipment would be used against those "whose only crime is rejecting dictatorship and voting for change".

The US ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, warned that violence was making a fair second-round, run-off vote impossible. He said he had evidence that security forces had been involved in "pure, unadulterated violence designed to intimidate people from voting".

Tyrannical-dictator liars don't give up power without a serious fight, and damn the consequences.

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