China Ships Arms to Mugabe

Union refusing to unload dangerous cargo destined for tense Zimbabwe
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2008 4:29 AM CDT
The An Yue Jiang anchored outside the port of Durban South Africa. It is carrying a cargo of small arms from China bound for the discredited Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – As tensions rise in Zimbabwe, a Chinese ship has arrived in a South African port with arms bound for Harare. The ship put to sea with AK-47 rifles, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and millions of rounds of ammunition, apparently to fortify President Robert Mugabe, who's not relinquishing power despite his suspected loss in last month's presidential election.  A South African politician called the shipment tantamount to "putting a fuse in a powder keg."

China has propped up the Mugabe regime for years in the face of international condemnation, the Guardian reports. So far the powerful South African labor union Satawu is refusing to touch the cargo. "Our members will not unload this cargo—neither will any of our members in the truck-driving sector move this cargo by road," said the union's leader.