HARARE, Zimbabwe — Members of the UN Security Council meeting in the United States may raise concerns about the Mugabe regime calling in Chinese military aid to help suppress the will of people in Zimbabwe. The threat of an international incident may be emerging where the situation in Zimbabwe is aggravated by Mugabe welcoming intervention from China.
Peoples Liberation Army soldiers have been seen on the streets of Zimbabwe's third largest city, Mutare, according to local witnesses. The PRC troops were observed patrolling with Zimbabwean National Army soldiers before and during Tuesday's ill-fated general strike called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
At the same time a Chinese ship laden with arms for Mugabe regime makes it's way around the Southern tip of Africa. The ship was turned away from Durban harbour in South Africa and is now heading for either Namibia or Angola to unload its cargo.
Copies of the documentation for the Chinese ship, the MV An Yue Jiang out of Guangzhou, show that the weapons are being shipped from Beijing to the ministry of defence in Harare. Headed "Dangerous goods description and container packing certificate", the order was dispatched on April 1, three days after Zimbabwe's election. It lists the 77-tonne consignment as including 3.5-million rounds of ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles and for small arms, 1,500 40-mm rockets, 2,500 mortar shells of 60-mm and 81-mm calibre, as well as 93 cases of mortar tubes. According to some African Union observers fear the arms order indicates Zimbabwe may soon be wrecked by a vengeful Mugabe's post-election military crackdown on his own Zimbabwean people.
Although the SADC region cannot afford a deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, China is helping Mugabe putting a fuse into the powder keg of the Zimbabwean situation. Reports are coming out of the country that opposition supporters have been beaten and killed by Mugabe's people as direct retribution for having had the audacity to vote against Mugabe. The Mugabe regime continues to deny the right of the people of Zimbabwe to choose their own leadership.
A spokesman for China's foreign ministry said it was aware of reports about a shipment, but needed more time to look into the matter. Any action against Zimbabwean citizens by Zanu-PF officials and armed Chinese troops would mark the beginning of more deliberate and provocative actions by China in the Southern African region.
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has asked that China pull its personnel out of Zimbabwe, just days after units from the Chinese army flew into the country.