n Journal for Contemporary History - The 1977 United Nations mandatory arms embargo against South Africa : a historical perspective after 30 years

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



The aim of this article is to place the 1977 arms embargo in its historical context, by analysing the reasons for its imposition, and then to ascertain the extent to which the embargo can be said to have been successful. This will be done by analysing its immediate consequences, as well as the development of the South African arms industry in the years following the imposition of the embargo, and the impact (if any) of the embargo on South Africa's defence force. In conclusion, and against the background of military and political developments in the country in the course of the past 30 years, the question as to whether the country's armed forces are better off today than they were 30 years ago, and why this is (or is not) the case, will be considered.

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