No guns for Bob

The ‘An Yue Jiang’ is a ship owned by China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO); it arrived in Durban, South Africa last week with a cargo of arms and ammunition for Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe.

Although the South African government initially said they had no right to interfere in a normal commercial transaction between China and Zimbabwe, the South African dock worker’s union refused to unload the cargo. After South African lawyers caled on the government to intervene, a court order was sent out on a launch to the An Yue Jiang, but it had already departed South African coastal waters.

It seems that landlocked Zimbabwe will not be able to get hold of the shipment from China. reports that the “governments of both Mozambique and Tanzania have refused to allow a Chinese ship carrying weapons for Zimbabwe to offload its cargo in their ports”.

Nor does it look like the ship will unload its cargo on Africa’s Atlantic coastline at one of Nambia’s ports. reports: “There has been no request by a Chinese ship carrying arms and ammunition destined for Zimbabwe to dock in either of Namibia’s two ports, Namibian port authorities said on Monday.”


Three new pieces of news:

– AFP says the ship may head for Angola, China’s biggest foreign supplier of oil and a long time ally of Mugabe’s government.

– Reuters says that China says the ship may be recalled if it is not allowed to unload anywhere.

– Xinhua reports: Zimbabwe ‘free to source arms from any country’


Namibia’s Legal Assistance Centre:

Legal action planned if ship carrying weapons bound for Zimbabwe enters Namibia’s port

It is reported that the vessel, which has applied for bunkering fuel at Walvis Bay, Namibia tomorrow morning (22 April 2008)

South Africa’s Sunday Times (April 23):

Chinese ship disappears

The position of the ship, the An Yue Jiang, was last plotted on Tuesday, when it was heading northwest at about 10 knots, about 40km southeast of the Cape of Good Hope.

South Africa’s

US asks China to call ship back

The An Yue Jiang had apparently abandoned its attempt to dock in Namibia or Angola, and turned around to head back around the South African coast.

“The vessel is 57 nautical miles south of the Cape of Good Hope,” said Lloyd’s MIU assistant manager in the casualty department, Stephen Olley, when it was spotted on Tuesday afternoon.

“It looks as if she’s heading eastbound, possibly towards Dar es Salaam.” (April 24): Zimbabwe: China Recalls Weapons Shipment

See also this post on This Is Zimbabwe.



Zimbabwe: Govt Authorises Unloading of Chinese Ship with Cargo for Country

Angola Press Agency (Luanda)

25 April 2008


The Angolan government informed that the cargo-boat, An Yne Jiang, of China Ocean Shipping Company, a Chinese maritime transportation company, was authorised to moor at the Luanda’s port, only to offload goods designed for the country.

However, ANGOP learnt this Friday from a note that the government explains that the warlike material that the aforesaid ship is carrying, bound for Zimbabwe, was not authorised and shall not be unloaded in the national territory.

UPDATE 4: See May 6 news – the shipment may have arrived in Zimbabwe after all.

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