Biological Warfare In Africa During The 1960’s And 1970’s

1195 words - 5 pages

Biological Warfare in Africa during the 1960’s and 1970’s
Throughout my research in many different books, reports on Biological warfare in Africa during the 1960’s and 1970’s, I have found a number of things. They include South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Program and the beginning of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Ebola virus. Biological warfare is defined as “the use of harmful living things (such as germs that cause disease) as weapons in a war” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). In this report I will discuss the South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Program and bits of the AIDS theories and the Ebola virus.
South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare program has been ongoing since World War I. Even after the Geneva Convention of 1925 was established South Africa did not entirely cease production and research of their Chemical and Biological Warfare program (Boston). In fact, during World War II, South Africa sidestepped the convention protocol and began planning a more extensive Chemical and Biological Warfare program, to protect the country from the threat of the Nazi regime.
Following World War II, the South African Defense Force continued to research Chemical and Biological Warfare but more for riot control. In the 1960s, South Africa realized that they needed to update their Chemical and Biological Warfare program after the Egyptians starting using chemicals in Yemen during the mid 60s. It was not until the 1970s when South Africa started producing more destructive agents, even though South Africa signed the Biological Warfare Convention (BWC) in 1972 and ratified it in November of 1975(Boston).
South Africa increased their production of more aggressive biological and chemical agents so that they may prevent the Communist onslaught from the Soviet Union and Cuban-backed regimes, which had made threats to takeover Mozambique and Angola during the mid to late 1970s (Boston). South Africa believed that the Cuban troops deployed in those regions at the time had chemical weapons, of which the South African government feared they would use (Boston). In the 60s and early 70s South Africa increased their security force cooperation with the Portuguese forces that were fighting in guerilla insurgencies in the colonies of Angola and Mozambique. The guerrilla tactics that the Portuguese forces were using on the insurgencies influenced the South African military and police forces. During the same time period South African forces also increased the involvement in the Rhodesian police and defense forces. These increased involvements in security operations in Southern Africa were all part of a national security strategy designed to counter communist campaigns. This was to protect Southern Africa and occupied South West Africa. The South African military were eager to have firsthand experience with counterinsurgency techniques. They also wanted to explore the potential use on unconventional chemical...

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