Working for a Nuclear Free Zone in Africa

21.07.2009 - Accra - Tony Robinson

The Treaty of Pelindaba, named after the city in South Africa where it was agreed, was written in 1996 and is an attempt to create a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Africa. 27 countries have so far ratified the treaty but 28 are required to do so in order for the treaty to come into force. Upon ratification this treaty would stand alongside the Treaty of Tlatelolco which established a nuclear weapon free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean, and other such regional and sub-regional treaties.

During a meeting between Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, MP for Dome-Kwabenya constituency and Deputy Speaker, WM organiser in Ghana Ben Annan and Tony Robinson from the Institutional Relations team from Poland, during which the MP gave his enthusiastic support for the WM he also showed great interest in the Treaty and said that he would follow up the issue.

As part of the proposals of the World March, organisers in Ghana see real possibilities to highlight this issue to legislators as they seek their endorsements and push for the early ratification by the Ghanaian government, which would have the added importance and kudos of bringing the treaty into effect.

Ben Annan said, “Although it is clear that Ghana is not likely to become a nuclear power in the near future, the treaty is important for the whole of Africa and it would ensure that all African countries effectively renounce nuclear weapons and would prevent third-party countries such as the USA from building nuclear bases on African soil.”

Previously South Africa strived to become a nuclear power and developed, constructed and stored their weapons in Pelidaba itself but unilaterally disarmed after the end of the Apartheid regime.

Categories: Africa, International, International issues, Opinions


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