Angola on March 20 became the 164th country to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Angola’s ratification leaves 10 African countries that have not ratified the pact.
Mauritius, Somalia, and South Sudan have not signed the treaty; seven others—Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, São Tomé and Principe, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe—have signed but not ratified it.
Egypt is one of the 44 countries that, under the terms of the treaty’s Annex 2, must ratify the CTBT to bring it into force. In addition to Egypt, seven other countries—China, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United States—of the 44 have not ratified the treaty.
Angola signed the CTBT on Sept. 27, 1996, three days after the pact was opened for signature.
Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), congratulated Angola on its ratification. “This development is an unequivocal reminder of Angola’s commitment towards creating an Africa free of nuclear weapons, as an essential component of a nuclear-weapons-free world,” Zerbo said in a March 20 press release.
The CTBTO is building a global monitoring system as part of its verification regime to detect nuclear tests. According to the CTBTO, about 90 percent of this network has been established, including 31 facilities in 22 African countries. Among the African states that have not joined the CTBT, Egypt has two dedicated monitoring stations that are part of the monitoring system, and Zimbabwe has one dedicated station.