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.
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.
Our work here in 2013
Land cleared: 244,157m²
Unexploded ordnance removed & destroyed: 13,998
Weapons destroyed: 10,400
Risk Education safety sessions given: 774
Men, women and children we helped directly: 37,485
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"
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...
After a metal signal is detected, the area is investigated carefully using a prodder. The signal turned out to be a 'PRB M3' anti-tank mine. After uncovering the mine, dirt is carefully brushed off so that it can be safely disarmed. Even though this mine was laid in 1974, due to its plastic construction it is in pristine condition.
[Lindu, Bas-Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo; Sean Sutton/MAG 2012]
[All photos: © Sean Sutton/MAG, October 2012]