China is actively positioning itself as a major supplier of arms to the African continent and is stepping up its shipments of weapons to conflict zones through Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
LONDON, United Kingdom, September 3, 2018 – A special report by EXX Africa, specialist intelligence company, details how China is shipping weapons to Africa, including countries under embargo, in a bid to control the continent’s arms trade and possibly systematically continue to destabilize war-torn regions of the continent to Chinese advantage.
Beyond the commercial objective of increasing sales of Chinese manufactured weapons and military equipment, China also seeks to control a greater share of the weapons trade in Africa in order to protect its extensive infrastructure investments on the continent. On the back of the One Belt, One Road initiative, China has made massive investments in East Africa, including railway lines, hydropower dams, and new port projects in countries such as Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
Flow of arms into east and central Africa through horn
Central to this strategy is China’s military logistics base in Djibouti, which China is preparing to facilitate large-scale shipments of weapons and military equipment to African countries, in particular Sudan and South Sudan.
Djibouti’s own strategically important port, which lies in a major shipping lane, is also set to move towards the centre of the regional arms trade.
“Following a new investigation that included collection of intelligence from well-placed security sector sources in the Horn of Africa, we have found evidence that Chinese weapons are making their way from the Chinese PLA Support Base in Djibouti and the commercial Port of Djibouti towards African conflict zones that have been placed under an arms embargo.” the report states.
This report comes as the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $60 billion in aid and loans for Africa on Monday while hosting more than 40 of the continent’s leaders in Beijing, saying that the money came with no expectation of anything in return.
Beijing pushed back on criticism that it was shackling poorer countries with heavy debt burdens they will struggle to pay back, portraying the Chinese government as a magnanimous one motivated only to share its experience of rapid industrialization.
“China’s investment in Africa does not come with any political conditions attached and will neither interfere in internal politics nor make demands that people feel are difficult to fulfill,” Xi said during a keynote address to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Monday.
The money will be focused on infrastructure to help speed African countries’ development, not on “vanity projects,” Xi said.
The report suggests China has a secret plot to control trade in Africa and in turn manipulate its politics to favour Chinese interest.
Weapons Intercepted in South Africa En route Nigeria
A Russian cargo vessel heading to Lagos, Nigeria and loaded with ‘weapons of’ mass destruction’ was intercepted in South Africa in August. The ship was said to have passed through India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania ports from Russia before authorities intercepted it at the South African port.
According to FleetMon, a vessel position tracking platform, the ship, LADA, was intercepted on August 19, 2018, after a security check off Elizabeth Port in South Africa.
The website reported that the inspection of the ship was carried out after an anonymous tip-off.
Weapons found on the vessel
– There are 34 containers with arms and explosives on board
– 14 destined for South Africa, to be offloaded at Elizabeth Port (Reports say the South African containers are legal, with all required permits)
– The other 20 are to be transported to Lagos, Nigeria, and to the US.