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UN "Security Council
"Resolution 418
"ARA Drummond (formerly SAS Good Hope), an "D'Estienne d'Orves class corvette whose sale to South Africa was blocked by UNSCR 418
Date 4 November 1977
Meeting no. 2,046
Code S/RES/409 (Document)
Subject South Africa
Voting summary
15 voted for
None voted against
None abstained
Result Adopted
"Security Council composition
Permanent members
Non-permanent members

United Nations Security Council Resolution 418, adopted unanimously on 4 November 1977, imposed a mandatory "arms embargo against "South Africa.[1] This resolution differed from the earlier "Resolution 282, which was only voluntary. The embargo was subsequently tightened and extended by "Resolution 591.



The ban had a direct impact in some of the following ways:

The embargo was lifted by "Resolution 919[6] following "democratic elections in 1994.

Circumvention of the embargo[edit]

The apartheid government worked around the embargo in a number of ways to source military technology and components that it was unable to procure openly. This resulted in "United Nations Security Council Resolution 591 being passed in 1986, which tightened up some of the loopholes and extended the embargo.

Local production[edit]

Many armaments were wholly designed and manufactured in South Africa, as reflected by the growth and export business of "Armscor.


Notable operations that came to light were:

Dual purpose equipment[edit]

Computer and air traffic control radar systems ostensibly destined for civilian use were diverted to the military.[8]

Use of foreign specialists[edit]

The South African government was able to hire the services of foreign technicians, for example "Israeli specialists who had worked on the "Lavi "fighter aircraft were recruited by "Atlas Aircraft Corporation to work on the "Atlas Cheetah and "Atlas CAVA.[8]

Licensed production[edit]

In somes cases, foreign armaments were simply produced under license in South Africa, as in the case of the "Warrior class strike craft, the "R4 assault rifle and "Atlantis Diesel Engines.

Co-operation with other states[edit]

South Africa exchanged military technology with other states in a similar position to itself, notably through the "Israel–South Africa Agreement.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Resolution 418". "United Nations. November 4, 1977. 
  2. ^ "Victor Moukambi dissertation.doc" (PDF). "University of Stellenbosch. 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  3. ^ Andre Wessels (20 April 2007). "The South African Navy During The Years of Conflict In Southern Africa, 1966-1989" (PDF). Sabinet Online Ltd. Retrieved 2008-05-12.  External link in |publisher= ("help)
  4. ^ Hilton Hamann (2001). Days of the Generals. South Africa: Zebra. p. 99. "ISBN "1-86872-340-2. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  5. ^ David Albright (July 1994). "South Africa and the Affordable Bomb". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 37–47. 
  6. ^ "Resolution 919". "United Nations. May 26, 1994. 
  7. ^ David Albright (July 1994). "South Africa and the Affordable Bomb". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: p. 41. 
  8. ^ a b Geldenhuys, Deon (1990). Isolated States: A Comparative Analysis. Cambridge University Press. 
  9. ^ "Africa Review" (PDF). "National Security Archive. 1981-06-08. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 

External links[edit]

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