Weapons sold to Zim for peacekeeping - report

2012-09-10 14:35
A Zimbabwean national army member. (Jekesai Njikizana, AFP)

A Zimbabwean national army member. (Jekesai Njikizana, AFP)

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Johannesburg – The weapons South Africa sold to Zimbabwe were for peacekeeping, military exercises, humanitarian aid and military training, according to a quarterly government report seen on Monday.

The country issued permits worth R2.26m to Zimbabwe for weapons for peacekeeping, military exercises, humanitarian aid and military training in Zimbabwe, according to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee's (NCACC) report for the period from April 1 to June 30.

South Africa also issued permits worth R590 000 to Rwanda, which was fingered in a UN report in June for active involvement in the M23 rebel movement in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sales contracts to all countries totalled R2.8bn.

The Democratic Alliance slammed the Zimbabwe sale.

"The fact is there has been a de facto arms embargo on exporting conventional arms to Zimbabwe for nearly a decade," said a party parliamentarian David Maynier.

Zimbabwe arch enemies President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai currently share power in an uneasy unity government formed in the wake of a failed 2008 vote that descended into widespread bloodshed.

"We know that the conventional arms include 'support equipment usually employed in the direct support of combat operations'. However, we do not know exactly what type of conventional arms were exported to Zimbabwe," said Maynier.

The European Union and United States maintain arms sales embargoes against Zimbabwe.

The justice ministry was not immediately available for comment.
Read more on:    ncacc  |  zimbabwe  |  sa  |  rwanda  |  arms deal
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