The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) officially equipped the Congolese National Force units of the 34th Military Region with weapon safes in Goma, North Kivu province. The official handover ceremony took place at the headquarters of the 34th Military Region, in the presence of the Vice-Governor of North-Kivu. This achievement contributes to the overall goal of promoting effective weapons and ammunition management (WAM) in the DRC. UNMAS aims at installing 144 weapon safes in Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) offices in North Kivu, thereby creating the capacity for securing 1,440 weapons.
This project consists of, firstly, the installation of weapon storage solutions to enable the improved security of arms and, secondly, the training and capacity building of the FARDC officers both on the use and maintenance of the safes and on the good management of weapons and ammunition. In the framework of the same project, UNMAS, with the support of MONUSCO, installed 277 weapon safes in Police stations 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, as of 2018.
Mr. Edmond Ilunga, the Commander of the 34th Military Region welcomed the partnership between MONUSCO and the FARDC through UNMAS. He notably called on the conscience of the FARDC officers for the proper use and management of the new equipment.
The Vice-governor of North Kivu, Mr. Feller Lutayichirwa, representative of the Congolese Government officially received the keys to these safes from the Deputy Head of Office/MONUSCO Goma. In his speech, he reaffirmed the willingness of the DRC Government to continue to facilitate the work of MONUSCO and UNMAS in supporting the country’s efforts towards improved security.
UNMAS is strongly engaged with the Congolese Government, and is working towards the improved management of weapons and ammunition in the country. The UNMAS Programme in the DRC and MONUSCO supported the National 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.