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Military equipment will not reach Burkina Faso: Defense Ministry

2018/05/25 20:45:17

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) A shipment of military equipment from Taiwan en route to Burkina Faso will not be allowed to reach the African country after it severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Friday.

The shipment of equipment includes protective helmets, vests, tactical belts, kneepads, and military goggles.

According to MND spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉), none of the items will be given to Burkina Faso, and the ministry is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to deal with the issue.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) raised the issue in a Facebook post Friday when he said the shipment of military gear bound for Burkina Faso from Taiwan has already left Malaysia after transiting there on May 18.

He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Armaments Bureau have ordered the container to be returned to Taiwan once it arrives at an African seaport.

Also affected by the cut in ties, Chen said, are 18 cadets from Burkina Faso in Taiwan getting military training, including at the Republic of China Military Academy and National Defense University.

The MND is also working with MOFA to follow up on the issue, he said.

On Thursday, Taiwan broke diplomatic ties with Burkina Faso after the African country announced an end to its ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The severing of ties leaves Taiwan with only 18 diplomatic allies, with the Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland) its only African ally left.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Ko Lin)
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