A couple of days ago I blogged with some jubilation about South African dock workers who were blocking a large shipment of Chinese arms destined for Zimbabwe. Perhaps realizing that they were unlikely to offload their weapons, and had entered the eye of a media feeding frenzy, the vessel pulled anchor and left the port of Durban, South Africa. It was speculated, and even reported that the ship was headed for Maputo, Mozambique, but that appears not to be the case. Although the ship’s destination is unknown, The Cape Argus observed,
naval intelligence sources confirmed that at 5pm yesterday the ship was spotted steaming south past Cape St Francis – ‘heading towards Luanda.’
But will the An Yue Jiang actually make it to Angola or will the ship be forced to stop and refuel first? This is Zimbabwe offers interesting commentary on that and everything else. Whoever is at the helm probably hopes to make it to Luanda without a messy pit stop. Angola would be a prime place to dock and offload the weapons, considering that the government doesn’t seem to see much need for continued work on the human rights front.
What to do about this sad turn of events? The International Action Network on Small Arms has set up a “Stop the Zimbabwe Arms Shipment” petition. They also have a map that tracks the position of the An Yue Jiang. I’m not quite sure how they’re doing that, since I read that the ship’s transponder was disabled. But whatever. In the absence of other information, the map is kind of cool. Finally, This is Zimbabwe has a button that you can link to, to inform others about action alerts and the IANSA petition.