UN agency and Japan provides weapon safes to police in DRC
United Nations Mine Action Service,UNMAS, with funding from the Embassy of Japan and MONUSCO, installed weapon safes in various police commissariats and sub-commissariats in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The United Nations Mine Action Service,UNMAS, with funding from the Embassy of Japan and MONUSCO, installed weapon safes in various police commissariats and sub-commissariats in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A total of 277 safes have been installed to date across the country,including 93 in Goma (North Kivu), 31 in Bukavu and Uvira (South Kivu), 73 in Bunia (Ituri), 24 in Kananga (Kasai Central) and 56 in Kinshasa. The ceremony officialising the handover of the equipment took place on Monday 28 May 2018 at the General Police Commissariat in Kinshasa.
This achievement contributes to the overall goal of improving weapons and ammunition management (WAM) systems in the DRC. This project consists of, firstly, the installation of weapons storage kits strengthening the security of arms and, secondly, the training and capacity building of Congolese National Police (PNC) officers both on the use and maintenance of the safesand on the good management of weapons and ammunition.
Between 15 April and 26 April 2018,UNMAS trained 255 police officers, including 94 in Goma, 43 in South Kivu, 38 in Ituri and 80 in Kinshasa. During this official handover ceremony, certificates were given to the present officers accredited from the trainings.
UNMAS has equipped the PNC with weapons safes made of 3mm thick steel sheets foldedand welded with an anti-offense door. The safes can be categorized into two types: thelong-gun safes, that can store up to 10 AK47 rifles, and the handgun safes, that can store upto 20 Tokarev pistols. At the ceremony, Mr.Célestin Bengama Bonguma, the Representative of the PNC General Commissioner, received officially the keys tothese safes. In his speech, Mr Bonguma welcomed the cooperation between the DRC and Japan as well as the partnership betweenthe PNC and UNMAS, notably calling on the national troops to make good use of the newequipment.
UNMAS is strongly engaged with the Congolese Government, working towards a more structuredsecurity sector in the country. UNMAS Programme in the DRC and MONUSCO supported theNational Commission for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Reduction of Armed Violence (CNC-ALPC) in the elaboration of a National Action Plan for the Control and Management of Small Arms and Small Calibre for the period 2018-2022. On the 15th of March 2018, the plan was validated by the Government through the Deputy Minister of the Interior and Security.
The proliferation, accumulation, misuse and unsafestorage of weapons and ammunition is a persistentproblem for peace and security in the DRC. They undermine the security and protection of Congolesepeople, slow down humanitarian response andundercut the State actors’ efforts to create a stableand sustainable environment. The handover ceremony provided an opportunity for theinternational community to restate its commitmentto the advancement of peace and stability in DRC. The Japanese Embassy pledged to continue to help the DRC in protecting civilians and strengthening thesecurity sector. MONUSCO and UNMAS also confirmed their willingness to extend the support to the Government and the Congolese National Police in weapons and ammunition management efforts.