Zimbabwe’s African neighbors have generally been feckless in their past relations with Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. But facilitating the transport of a shipload of Chinese weapons likely to be used by the Mugabe regime in a bloody crackdown aimed at holding onto power after being voted out of office is apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The Chinese ship An Yue Jiang has already been turned away from South Africa and Mozambique. The United States is also involved in the effort:
Zambia’s president is lobbying other African nations, according to the Reuters. But a South African union apparently started the ball rolling last week, refusing to unload the cargo.
Now a German bank has an impound order for the cargo in an attempt to recover unpaid debts from Zimbabwe, thought the bank apparently didn’t know the ship contained weapons. A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman says its all just “normal military trade” and has nothing to do with what’s happening in Zimbabwe at the moment.