On 18 April 2014, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) together with the National Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) held a ceremony to mark the closure of the Weapons and Ammunition Management training course in Kisangani, Province Orientale.
Following the recent completion of an ammunition depot facility in Kisangani in October 2013, UNMAS recognised that a training course for key weapons and ammunition management personnel, who would be managing the new depot, would be essential.
Taking place over nine weeks since February 2014, UNMAS, in partnership with international NGO, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), delivered a comprehensive training with twenty-five FARDC personnel encompassing personnel from Kisangani and from Eastern DRC. From the twenty-five participants, four were selected to become trainers themselves, thus promoting national ownership and sustainability within the security sector in DRC.
General Urbain, Second in Command of the Ninth Military Region with the FARDC, chaired the ceremony and in particular thanked UNMAS and MONUSCO for arranging the training. The General recognised the need for qualified and trained ammunition management specialists in DRC and requested similar courses in the future.
MONUSCO provided vital logistical and administrative support, and hosted the training at their training centre in Kisangani, with Colonel Daiboula, the Chief of the Training Centre, attending the ceremony.
DRC has suffered from protracted armed conflicts for several decades. Combined with relatively weak military infrastructure this has resulted in the presence of large quantities of insecurely and unsafely stored weapons and ammunition. The Government of DRC continues to require the necessary technical support to store and manage weapons and ammunition, particularly in the context of an expanded DDR/DDRRR programme that could require the safe storage of thousands of weapons.
Ensuring the safe storage of ammunition and weapons, particularly in areas affected by armed conflict, remains a key concern in the country. In the recently adopted Security Council resolution 2147 (2014), the Government of the DRC is urged to take immediate steps to uphold its commitment to security sector reform and the development of a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) plan. Through developing the technical expertise of key weapons and ammunition management staff within the FARDC, and enlisting high quality staff capable of delivering training to others, UNMAS is ensuring that the Government of DRC is building and developing the weapons and ammunition management capacity it needs.
For further information please contact:
Michel Cipiere (DRC): +243-825-001-843 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Woodyear (New York): +1-917-367-0200 - email@example.com