Bush Blocks: Intervenes on Chinese Arms Shipment to Zimbabwe

The Bush Administration is putting pressure on African nations to prevent the Chinese arms ship from unloading its cargo.

Crew members are seen on board the deck of the An Yue Jiang, as it lies anchored outside the Durban harbor, South Africa, Thursday, April 17, 2008. (AP)

Fantastic!… The Bush Administration is working to block shipment of the Chinese arms to the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.
The AP reported:

The Bush administration is intervening with governments in southern Africa to prevent a Chinese ship carrying weapons for Zimbabwe’s security forces from unloading its cargo, The Associated Press has learned.

At the same time, the State Department’s top Africa hand, Jendayi Frazer, plans to visit the region this week to underscore U.S. concerns about the shipment. Frazer also will try to persuade Zimbabwe’s neighbors to step up pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government to publish results from a disputed election that the opposition claims to have won, administration officials said Monday.

U.S. intelligence agencies are tracking the vessel, the An Yue Jiang, and American diplomats have been instructed to press authorities in at least four nations — South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola — not to allow it to dock, the officials told The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss delicate diplomatic talks.

The ship, which is laden with large amounts of weapons and ammunition, already has been turned away from South Africa and Mozambique, and is now believed to be headed for Angola, possibly with a refueling stop in Namibia. The freighter left South Africa after a judge on Friday barred the arms from transiting South Africa and it was not immediately clear if U.S. lobbying had influenced authorities in Mozambique who stopped it from docking over the weekend.

Two officials said Washington’s effort to block the ship from unloading its cargo was now concentrated on Namibia and Angola and that both countries were being told that allowing the An Yue Jiang to dock could harm their relations with the United States.

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