Republic of Congo: Explosion at arms depot kills over 200 people

Over 200 people were killed and at least 1,500 people were injured by explosions at an ammunition depot in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 3 March. According to officials an accidental fire set off the explosions which destroyed the homes of over 5000 people.  IANSA Africa Programme Officer Nounou Booto Meeti said, “This highlights the importance of including ammunition in the UN Programme of Action on small arms, which commits states to several provisions for managing stockpiles and destroying surplus arms to avoid diversion and accidents”. Colonel Jacques Didier Lavenir Mvom, expert on defence and security at the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) said, “This reminds us of the importance of our work for the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention on the control of small arms and their ammunition – to prevent such a thing from happening again. We include in our prayers the souls of those still missing in Brazzaville”.