Weapons and ammunition Management: UNMAS provides the Congolese National Police with weapons safes
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.
This achievement contributes to the overall goal of improving Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM) systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo (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 safe and on the good management of weapons and ammunition. Between 15 April and 26 April 2018, United Nations Mine Action Service (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 training.
The UNMAS, with funding from the Embassy of Japan and MONUSCO, installed weapon safes in various police commissariats and sub-commissariats in the DemocraticRepublic 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 56in Kinshasa. The ceremony officialising the handover of the equipment took place on Monday 28 May 2018 at the General police commissariat in Kinshasa.UNMAS has equipped the PNC with weapons safe made of 3mm thick steel sheets folded and welded with an anti-offence door.
The safes can be categorized into two types: the long-gun safes, that can store up to 10 AK47rifles, and the handgun safes, that can store up to 20 Tokarev pistols. At the ceremony, Mr.Célestin Bengama Bonguma, the representative of the PNC GeneralCommissioner, received officially the keys to these safes. In his speech, Mr Bonguma welcomed the cooperation between the DRC and Japan as well as the partnership between the PNC and UNMAS, notably calling on the national troops to make good use of the new equipment. 2UNMAS is strongly engaged with the Congolese Government, working towards a more structured security 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 unsafe storage of weapons and ammunition is a persistent problem for peace and security in the DRC. They undermine the security and protection of Congolese people, slow down humanitarian response and undercut the State actors’ efforts to create a stable and sustainable environment. The handover ceremony provided an opportunity for the international community to restate its commitment to the advancement of peace and stability in DRC. Japanese Embassy pledged to continue to help theDRC in protecting civilians and strengthening the security 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.