This study focused on the effects of proliferation of nuclear weapons on the security of Algeria and Libya in the 21st Century. The study was based on the non-equivalent control group research design and the Center-periphery theory. The secondary methods of data collection and qualitative descriptive method of data analysis were adopted. The study therefore established that: (i) The Nuclear Weapons States’ (NWS) requirements for uranium engendered trafficking in hazardous nuclear materials and use of depleted uranium in Algeria and Libya. Activities of NWS’ uranium companies prompted trafficking in nuclear materials and security threats in Algeria. The U.S.- led NWS, deployed depleted uranium-propelled B16-11 tactical nuclear bombs, on Libyan civilian populations, during the 2011 Libyan civil war, in breach of treaty obligations governing the conversion only for peaceful purposes, of depleted uranium; (ii) The Algerian and Libyan governments acquired nuclear weapons equipment in violation of the 1996 African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty. Turn-key centrifuges, hot-cell facilities, plutonium production plants, heavy water reactors, etc, were acquired in violation of Article 3, subsections (a), (b), and (c) of the treaty, and (iii) The nuclear weapons programmes undermined the sustainable development of conventional military capacity and national security in Algeria and Libya. Between 1993 and 2009, about $20 billion and $10 billion were committed to the nuclear weapons programmes by Algeria and Libya, while between 1997 and 2011, there were 29% and 74% reductions in conventional
military expenditure, both, respectively. These resulted into a low combat-readiness, inadequate training, shortage of manpower, poor maintenance and use of obsolete weapons, in both states. We recommended adherence to safeguards by uranium companies and effective IAEA monitoring regime to deter nuclear trafficking in Algeria and Libya. The NWS that fired depleted uranium in Libya must be severely penalized. Algeria and Libya should strengthen their conventional military capacity and national security.
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