The United Nations Mines Action Service (UNMAS) that has been working in the war-torn Central African Republic since January 2014 has identified, collected, secured and destroyed some dangerous weapons in the country and is currently building an arms depot in which to store some identified weapons, Radio Ndeke Luka reported. The UN officials on April 2, 2015 in the capital, Bangui presented a report of the activities of UNMAS on the occasion of the 10th edition of the International Day of sensitization on problems of landmines.
General Babacar Gaye, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Central Africa and also head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said the priority of the UN Mission was to ensure the protection of the population faced with danger of landmines and war weapons. The Director of UNMAS Programme in Bangui, Richard Derieux disclosed that there were no real threats of landmines in the Central African Republic.
He said from reports, there were no confirmed cases of anti-personal mines as well as those of vehicles, stating that it was good news for the population. Despite the assurance, he said that due to the conflict, there has been the proliferation of light and small arms in the country, mostly explosives that must be destroyed in order to protect the civilian population.
Reports presented revealed that UNMAS has inspected and identified 100 tons of badly stocked weapons, destroyed 790 arms thanks to new technology, recovered landmines in public places and camps of displaced people. Radio Ndeke Luka said UNMAS in collaboration with African Union and French forces, Sangaris, destroyed seven tons of arms. It has also secured and categorized arms and weapons collected following the relocation of former fighters. Over 4,000 students were also drilled on the dangers of explosives.
As peace and stability gradually returns to the country, its cleansing from dangerous weapons becomes imperative. Authorities have also launched a campaign that requires that security and defence officials declare and hand in the arms and war weapons in their keeping.
Source : Cameroon Tribune