S.Africa sold weapons to Zimbabwe, Rwanda: government report
South Africa sold weapons to Zimbabwe and Rwanda between April and July this year, according to a quarterly government report seen Monday.
The country issued permits worth 2.26 million rands ($276,000, 216,000 euros) 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 590,000 rands 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 2.8 billion rand.
Main opposition party 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.
South Africa’s justice ministry was not immediately available for comment.