The U.S. joined calls Thursday for an arms embargo against Zimbabwe as the Chinese weapons shipment that sparked a scandal turned for home, shunned by ports in Southern Africa.
Armed young militias known as “green bombers” and war veterans have been attacking opposition activists and supporters in rural areas of Zimbabwe, according to human-rights organizations and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Britain has urged an international arms embargo against Zimbabwe because of the violence, and Thursday South African Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu and the top U.S. diplomat on Africa, Jendayi Frazer, joined the call.
President Robert Mugabe’s government appears increasingly isolated. Many of Zimbabwe’s neighbors in Southern African countries are opposed to transit of the weapons.
The results of March 29 presidential elections remain secret nearly a month after the vote.
Gaza City, Gaza Strip
U.N. food vehicles run out of fuel
The United Nations stopped distributing food to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after its vehicles ran out of fuel because of the Israeli blockade, a U.N. official said.
Israeli countered that fuel is available, but said the Islamic group Hamas ruling Gaza is preventing it from being distributed.
A spokesman for the United Nations’ Relief Works Agency, Adnan Abu Hasna, said 700,000 Palestinians won’t be getting packages of basic foods because the agency could not bring in new shipments or distribute them without fuel for its vehicles.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Air force ends search for priest
Brazil’s air force on Thursday suspended its search for a Roman Catholic priest who vanished after sailing into the air under a cluster of colorful balloons. The cleric’s family chartered a private plane to continue the hunt.
The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli has been missing since Sunday, when he lifted off from the port city of Paranagua strapped to 1,000 balloons and wearing a helmet, an aluminum thermal flight suit, waterproof coveralls and a parachute.