Zimbabwe denies sending weapons to Gbagbo

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday dismissed reports by the United Nations (UN) that his country supplied arms to Ivory Coast.

According to reports, Zimbabwe may have supplied Laurent Gbagbo with weapons.

But Mnangagwa said that Zimbabwe itself was looking for weapons following an arms embargo slapped on the country by Western powers. He added that the allegations against the country were ‘stupid’.

Earlier this week, UN experts said they believed the arms shipments were delivered to Ivory Coast in December. The shipment allegedly included light weapons.

Speaking to the NewsDay newspaper in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa said that Zimbabwe itself was under an arms embargo by the European Union, Britain and other Western powers. He added that Zimbabwe was actually looking for weapons for its own military.

Three years ago, Zimbabwe’s neighbours blocked a shipment of weapons to Harare from China, following fears that they would be used by Zanu-PF on opposition supporters.