WASHINGTON (AP) – The Bush administration is intervening with governments in southern Africa to prevent a Chinese ship carrying weapons for Zimbabwe’s security forces from unloading its cargo, The Associated Press has learned.
At the same time, the State Department’s top Africa hand, Jendayi Frazer, plans to visit the region this week to underscore U.S. concerns about the shipment. Frazer also will try to persuade Zimbabwe’s neighbors to step up pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s government to publish results from a disputed election that the opposition claims to have won, administration officials said Monday
U.S. intelligence agencies are tracking the vessel, the An Yue Jiang, and American diplomats have been instructed to press authorities in at least four nations - South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola - not to allow it to dock, the officials told The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss delicate diplomatic talks.