Russia backs African nuclear treaty

Published on, August 24, 2010.

MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (UPI) — Even though Russia and the United States have the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, Moscow is backing a nuclear initiative to ensure that Africa remains free of nuclear weapons.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted to the Duma for ratification two protocols to a treaty establishing Africa as a nuclear-free weapons zone, Itar-Tass reported.

The protocols propose a ban on nuclear tests in Africa along with the use of nuclear weapons against African countries. 

The African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Pelindaba Treaty was signed in Cairo in 1996 but only formally entered into force last year. Twenty-four African countries have signed but not yet ratified the treaty … //

… Roiling international issues around the treaty is the status of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, controlled by the United Kingdom and currently leased as a military base by the United States, leaving its status under terms of the treaty unclear, especially as Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Archipelago claimed by Mauritius despite British claims of sovereignty. (full text).

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