Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Zambia

Newsline: Netherlands to close mission in Zambia next year

The Netherlands is set to close its mission in Zambia next year. Netherlands Embassy second secretary Joost van Ettro disclosed the development in Lusaka in response to a press query. “In the meantime, the government of the Netherlands has taken the decision to phase out its development co-operation with Zambia altogether and to close its embassy in 2013,” he said.


Newsline: Somalia, Zambia face diplomatic row

Somalia government Sunday clarified that the diplomatic row in Lusaka, leading to the temporal closure of the embassy in the country, was caused by a Somali national masquerading as an envoy. Zambian authorities closed the embassy after confusion emerged when another “diplomat” was sent in to take up the appointment without the knowledge of the one serving Shirwa Ibrahim. “It is a very embarrassing situation that we had to disclose our differences at the police station,” Mr Ibrahim, who took up office three months ago, said. According to the ambassador, the man who turned up to claim his post, only identified as Muhammed, was a resident and a member of the Somali-Zambia Friendship Association. The ambassador also accused Somalis in Zambia of frustrating his government’s operations in the country. Mr Ibrahim also blamed the Zambian government for the problems facing his embassy, claiming that some corrupt Somalis based in Lusaka have been gaining access to government departments through “bribes”. So far, Zambian government has not responded to the allegations. Currently, Somalia is run by a transitional government and has been categorised as a failed state. It has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.


Newsline: Chinese mine managers, diplomats face arrest in Zambia

A Zambian court has issued arrest warrants for two Chinese mine managers charged with attempted murder after they allegedly shot and wounded 13 workers at a coal mine. This was after Xiao Li Shan and Wu Jiu Hua failed to appear in the Choma Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for trial. The Choma Magistrate’s Court also issued arrest warrants for two Chinese embassy officials who stood bail for the mine managers though diplomats are not subject to prosecution. Mr Xiao and Mr Wu, managers at Chinese-run Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe District – about 300 km south of the capital, Lusaka, allegedly shot and wounded 13 Zambian workers over a pay dispute on October 15, 2010 – were arrested and taken to court but were granted $10,000 bail each pending trial. In November 2010, Collum Coal Mine sealed a compensation agreement with the 13 victims of the shooting who were paid about $80,385 to drop the case of Mr Xiao and Mr Wu. Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda had appealed to his people against incitement targeting the Chinese following the shooting incident. Chinese ambassador Li Qiangmin warned that the embassy was considering “blacklisting” Chinese investors abrogating Zambian labour laws. Chinese enterprises account for 60 per cent of Zambia’s construction market, 50 per cent of the construction materials market, 20 per cent mining projects and 10 per cent of the agricultural and service markets, creating at least 20,000 jobs for Zambians, according Mr Li.