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Saturday, 5 March 2011


First, Mozambique Police say there is an arms shipment going through their country on the way to Swaziland ... and then they deny it. Should we believe them?

This is from the AFP news agency today (5 March 2011).


Police in Mozambique deny arms shipment to Swaziland

MAPUTO, March 5, 2011 (AFP) – Mozambican police denied Saturday that Swaziland tried to import two containers of arms through Mozambique, after Swazi dissidents accused the neighbouring country of aiding “a possible bloodbath.”

An investigation “concluded that the containers had domestic utensils and plastic objects,” national police media officer Raul Freia told AFP, adding that the containers had come from Iran. Mozambican state newspaper Noticias on Friday said Swaziland attempted to import the two containers of firearms through the port in the capital city, Maputo, quoting an unnamed police source. Police chief Jorge Khalau and spokesman Pedro Cossa had earlier declined to comment.

The Swaziland Solidarity Network, an organisation based in South Africa that often speaks out against the regime of Swazi King Mswati III, criticised the Mozambican government following the report. ”It is terribly insensitive of the government of Mozambique to aid a possible bloodbath in its neighbouring country,” the organisation said in a statement. ”

There ought to be an arms embargo against Swaziland until it yields to the demands for a multi-party democracy.” Swaziland has reportedly had trouble importing arms in the past because of concerns about how Africa’s last absolute monarchy would use the weapons. In December 2008, Britain blocked a Swazi move to buy arms worth $60 million (43 million euros) from a British company over “end-use concerns,” according to a US embassy cable leaked by WikiLeaks.

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