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Democratic Republic of Congo

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) litters the Democratic Republic of Congo, threatening lives and limbs. Communities are also at risk of accidental explosions at poorly managed ammunition depots.

Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.

Father and son near Dongo in DRC

Between 1996 and 2003, the Democratic Republic of Congo was the site of the most deadly conflict since World War Two, which led to as many as 5.4 million deaths¹ and left large concentrations of UXO scattered across the country.

This UXO limits access to resources such as firewood and arable land, hinders local and cross-border trade and communications, and prevents access to essential health and education services.

On top of this, huge numbers of arms and ammunition are stored in unsecured stockpiles and depots across the country. In the absence of adequate stockpile management procedures, arms and ammunition are regularly ‘diverted’ from official stockpiles to non-state armed groups, fuelling ongoing violence in the country.

Communities are also at risk from the accidental detonation of stockpiles, with most munitions sites located in highly populated areas. According to Small Arms Survey, there have been eight recorded incidents of stockpiles exploding since 2000, killing at least 110 people and injuring hundreds.

¹ Study by the International Rescue Committee

Small arms'Small arms' include revolvers, self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, light machine guns.

Our work here in 2013

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Land cleared: 244,157m²

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Unexploded ordnance removed & destroyed: 13,998

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Weapons destroyed: 10,400

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Risk Education safety sessions given: 774

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Men, women and children we helped directly: 37,485

 

Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.Risk EducationRisk Education (or Mine Risk Education) refers to activities that seek to reduce the risk of death and injury from landmines and other explosive weapons, and lessen their social and economic impact.

Risk Education includes the provision of safety messages to at-risk individuals and communities, raising awareness of the dangers and promoting safe behaviour.

"These are practical solutions that will improve security for the population"

See how MAG is helping to ensure the safe storage of police and army weapons

Video: Inside a minefield

A short film from Lindu in the Democratic Republic of Congo...

Video: From horror to hope

Josephine and her family are now able to begin rebuilding their lives..

Photo gallery: Our work in DRC

Mine clearance, unexploded ordnance removal, and weapons security in the DRC...

[All photos: © Sean Sutton/MAG, October 2012]

Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.

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DRC flagAbout DRC

Population: 77.4 million

Life expectancy: 50 years

Gross National Income per capita: US $230

People with access to safe drinking water: 45%

People below the poverty line: 87%

Figures: CIA, UNDP, UN Water, World Bank

DRC success story

MAG has worked with authorities since 2006 to improve the storage of weapons and ammunition, and destroy surplus guns. Read this report from inside an ammunition depot in Kinshasa.

Cutting up guns in DRC

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