This story is the reason I was at the ToL site and picked up the link in the post below.
From the Times of London:
Modern imperialism on the resource-rich continent will be less benign than old colonialism
Fifty years ago the decolonisation of Africa began. The next half-century may see the continent recolonised. But the new imperialism will be less benign. Great powers aren't interested in administering wild places any more, still less in settling them: just raping them. Black gangster governments sponsored by self-interested Asian or Western powers could become the central story in 21st-century African history.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Take Zimbabwe. In the Western news media the clichés about Robert Mugabe's “despotism” roll, but this is a despotism crippled by monumental incompetence. The BBC's audience must have been bemused in recent weeks by John Simpson's reports from within a country where, as we are always being reminded, the BBC is banned. I yield to none in my respect for Mr Simpson's courage and ingenuity but only modest quantities of either will have been required to enter the country, move within it or broadcast from it....MORE
From the Times of New York:
Zimbabwe Arms Shipped by China Spark an Uproar
JOHANNESBURG — A Chinese ship loaded with armaments for Zimbabwe steamed into the port of Durban this week and set off a political firefight, putting newfound pressure on South Africa — and now China — to reduce support for Zimbabwe’s government as it cracks down on its rivals after a disputed election....MORE