Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beijing says Zimbabwe arms shipment being returned to China

BEIJING (AP) — A shipment of Chinese weapons headed for troubled Zimbabwe will be returned to China because there is no way to deliver it to the landlocked country in southern Africa, China said Thursday.

Countries neighboring Zimbabwe refused to allow the Chinese freighter An Yue Jiang to dock at their ports. That followed heavy pressure from African unions, churches and human rights groups, bolstered by behind-the-scenes pressure from the United States.

Critics argue that providing Zimbabwe's security forces with the weapons could worsen attacks reportedly being made on opponents of President Robert Mugabe amid a political standoff over a contested election.

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