Over 2.6 mln rounds of ammunition neutralized in Republic of Congo

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-25 20:47:12

More than 2.6 million rounds of unexploded ammunition have been neutralized by a non- governmental organization in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, to avoid a repetition of the deadly blast in the city last year.

The action was taken in Brazzaville's Mpila district, where an explosion occurred at an arms depot on March 4, 2012, the European Union (EU) said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

"The evaluation of the clearing and clean-up operations took place within a radius of 145 hectares in the districts that were affected by the explosion in 2012," the statement said.

The evaluation was carried out by Geneva-based International Center for Mine Clearing and the Small Arms Survey, which is an independent university program.

The operation to neutralize unexploded ammunition was funded by the EU at a cost of 2.5 million euros.

It was carried out by NGOs including Demeter, Mine Advisory Group (MAG) and Handicap International in collaboration with the Congolese Armed Forces (FAC) and the United Nations.

According to the EU, despite the work by the partners, there are still rounds of ammunition in the ground and pose danger, especially during the construction of houses.

"In order to improve the people's security, EU urges the Congolese government to continue with the re-evaluation exercise

to ascertain whether there's any remaining mines so that they can be cleared," the statement said.

The Congolese government plans to rebuild 900 homes destroyed in the explosion, which left 200 people dead.

Posted in: Africa

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