The mystery of the An Yue Jiang cargo continues. The Chinese government and Zimbabwean government have differing views on whether the controversial cargo has finally been delivered. The Sunday Herald reports:
THE ZIMBABWEAN government said yesterday that weapons carried by China’s so-called “ship of shame”, the An Yue Jiang, had arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, despite an international campaign to prevent the 77 tonnes of arms reaching President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
The arms, including three million AK‑47 bullets, more than 3000 mortar shells and launchers and some 1500 rocket-propelled grenades, came as Mugabe’s police, armed forces and militias cracked down harder on political opponents ahead of a presidential run-off election.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports:
But China’s Foreign Ministry said the An Yue Jiang was on its way back to China, and denied reports the weapons had arrived in Zimbabwe.
“These reports are baseless and purely fictitious,” spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement on the ministry’s website (www.fmprc.gov.cn).
“The Chinese side has already said many times that the weapons sold to Zimbabwe will return on the An Yue Jiang. The ship is currently on its way back to China,” Qin said.