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Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 03:02 GMT 04:02 UK
UK halts arms to Zimbabwe
Hawk fighter jet
The embargo will affect parts for Zimbabwe's Hawk jets
The UK Government has revoked all existing licences for exporting arms to Zimbabwe as part of its reaction to continuing violence in the country.

The move, which will halt the supply of spare parts for Zimbabwe's Hawk fighter jets, means Britain has imposed a total arms embargo on the country.

Last week UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook announced that Britain would refuse all new applications for arms exports and re-examine existing licences.

On Friday, in a written parliamentary answer, Mr Cook announced that existing licences were to be revoked with immediate effect.

Fifteen licences are affected, mainly for the supply of Hawk spare parts and non-military fire arms such as shotguns.

The Department of Trade and Industry is contacting firms which hold the licences to tell them of the ban.

The government is also tightening up on exports of equipment which could have civilian or military use.

All applications will now have to be considered individually.

The Foreign Office said the aim was not only to stop the export of equipment to Zimbabwe but also stop any diversion of equipment to the Congo.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe to set up land commission
Britain's last national arms embargo was on Indonesia, when licences were revoked due to the country's civil war.

It has already put supplies of 450 Land Rovers to the Zimbabwean police on hold until the land occupations end.

Mr Cook said neither Britain nor any other donor would fund a programme of land reform in Zimbabwe unless it was conducted within the rule of law.

And he said any programme must also be based on a fair price to farmers and would need to reduce poverty among the rural poor, who have no land.

Britain's latest action came as leaders of white farmers in Zimbabwe agreed with President Robert Mugabe to set up a land commission to oversee the transfer of farmland to the state in return for an end to violence by the president's supporters.

Mr Mugabe has firmly backed the land invasions, saying they will not end until farmers hand over nearly 850 farms which the government tried and failed to acquire nearly two years ago.

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See also:

03 May 00 | UK Politics
UK imposes Zimbabwe arms ban
12 May 00 | Africa
Zimbabwe talks reach land deal
30 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Cook prioritises Zimbabwe crisis
19 Apr 00 | Business
Zimbabwe's economy under threat
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