Belgian military vehicles disappear in Africa
3 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgian military material valued at several million euros went missing in the African nation Equatorial Guinea at the end of last year.
3 February 2006
BRUSSELS — Belgian military material valued at several million euros went missing in the African nation Equatorial Guinea at the end of last year.
Some 15 expensive armoured Pandur vehicles, several trucks, radio equipment and tents went missing, newspaper 'Het Laatste Nieuws' reported on Friday.
The material was meant to be delivered to UN peacekeeping troops in Benin. The troops are to protect election observers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo later this year.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is now negotiating with the Equatorial Guinea government in a bid to regain the military equipment.
The Belgian Defence Ministry said the equipment departed from Zeebrugge in December and travelled to Tanzania on a Ukrainian container ship.
The captain moored the ship at an island near Equatorial Guinea, but the four soldiers entrusted with guarding the equipment were captured.
The military equipment was then unloaded and has since disappeared. The Defence Ministry fears the armoured vehicles and other equipment have been sold.
A ministry spokesman said it is UN's responsibility to regain the materials. The material was jointly supplied by the UN and Belgium.
Meanwhile, Belgium has decided to send extra election observers to its former colony of the Congo. Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht has allocated EUR 500,000 to the mission.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news