The United Nations says it has “credible information” that Zimbabwe may have received Chinese weapons by way of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The U.N. Security Council says Boeing aircraft delivered 53 tons of Chinese ammunition, meant for the Zimbabwean army, from the DRC to Zimbabwe this August.
A U.N. statement released Friday says this does not violate an arms embargo on the eastern DRC, but does show that the country could be a transit point for weapons destined for other countries.
Also from the Guardian, via Zimbabwe Times:
Large quantities of weapons continue to be shipped to Zimbabwe via the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to a new report by the United Nations.
Logistical support from Zanu-PF leader Robert Mugabe’s close allies in the government and armed forces of the strife-torn DRC is crucial to this process, evidence obtained by investigators suggests.
The final report of the group of experts on the DRC, submitted to the UN Security Council last week, says it is possible that the Congolese armed forces “may also be exporting weapons and ammunition to other countries in the region”.
The UN report skirts the issue of the precise route by which the weapons arrive in the DRC. However, unverified intelligence documents seen by the Mail & Guardian suggest that at least two countries in the Southern African Development Community are allowing shipments from China to land for onward transport to Zimbabwe via intermediaries including the DRC.
The report and other documents seen by the M&G show that shipments of AK-47 rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades appear to have been routed through a sequence of intermediary countries. This is an apparent attempt to evade detection and subsequent outcry such as that surrounding the arrival of the Chinese arms ship An Yue Jiang in South African waters in June.