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December 24, 1982

South Africa's relations with Zimbabwe appear to be a study in ambiguity.

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Gasoline is in short supply in Zimbabwe thanks to a recent attack on the Beira oil terminal in Mozambique, from which fuel supplies are drawn. Mozambique blames South Africa for the attack. But South Africa claims it's now helping ship fuel to Zimbabwe to lessen the fuel shortage.

Confused? Some observers say such incidents reinforce those countries' dependence on South Africa.