In the same year as its 20th anniversary of saving lives around the world, MAG will celebrate its second birthday in the Republic of Congo in style tomorrow.
"You can imagine how much safer those city centres are, with 145,000 kilogrammes of explosive material removed from their densely populated hearts."
MAG trains Forces Armées Congolaises in Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
[Photos: MAG ROC]
It won't be two candles blown out, but over 35,000 different types of lethal ammunition, making a bang to drown out the Happy Birthday chorus.
This brings the number of remnants of conflict destroyed since MAG began working in the country on 12 December 2007 to 771,162.
Among the most significant items disposed of over the past two years were 70 Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS), more than 125 huge aircraft bombs, 867 rockets of various sizes and shapes, and 4,803 anti-personnel landmines.
"it is very difficult to put a number to the beneficiaries of the work we have done here in the Republic of Congo," said Frederic Martin, MAG's Country Programme Manager based in Brazzaville.
"But you can imagine how much safer those city centres are, with 145,000 kilogrammes of explosive material removed from their densely populated hearts.”
In addition to putting these extremely dangerous weapons beyond use, vital to MAG’s work in the Republic of Congo is providing quality, certified Explosive Ordnance Disposal training for the army (Forces Armées Congolaises / FAC) explosive handlers. To date, MAG has successfully trained 14 FAC members to EOD level one, with seven more individuals to be trained in January 2010.
MAG would like to thank everyone that has participated and help in our mission, particularly the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Congo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Forces Armées Congolaises.
MAG’s work in the Republic of Congo has been supported by vital funding from the US State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement and UK Government’s Conflict Prevention Pool.
11 December 2009