This paper examines the efficacy of the Ottawa treaty as an instrument of arms control. The rationale for this rests with a belief that whilst Ottawa was a nobly principled exercise, there appears to be little meeting point between theoretical postulation and practical outcomes. The text intends to illustrate the nature of this dilemma by looking at Angola, noting that the country as one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, is a signatory State Party to the Convention, and yet has abrogated both the spirit and the letter of the treaty by embarking on a new round of mine laying. It is put forward that disregard for legal strictures freely entered into by signatories renders the philosophy and applications of Ottawa unsafe, and thereby endangers the lives and well-being of those peoples the treaty was originally designed to protect.
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