Zambia's Foreign Minister, Mr. Simon Kapwepwe, said in Lusaka on Sunday that Britain had cheated?
Zambia's Foreign Minister, Mr. Simon Kapwepwe, said in Lusaka on Sunday that Britain had cheated Zambia by sending aircraft that were "completely out of date" to aid the country's defences. Mr. Kapwepwe was speaking at Lusaka Airport on his return from the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In his references to the Javelin jet fighters that Britain sent to Zambia last week, Mr. Kapwepwe said: "The planes are out of date -- we want modern weapons." He said: "We cannot defend ourselves with these planes.... We are being bluffed that assistance has been given." Mr. Kapwepwe pointed out that Zambia reserved the right, even though British forces were in Zambia, to call on other nations -- including the Soviet Union -- to send troops to assist the country.
(Javelins are being used for air defence in several parts of the world, including Malaysia. A Royal Air Force spokesman has said in London that Mr. Kapwepwe appeared to be misinformed about the Javelins.)