The growing number of accidental explosions in military arms and ammunition storage facilities across Africa has highlighted the need for minimum standards in stockpile management in the continent, says a South Africa-based think-tank.
"These ammunition stockpiles pose a significant threat and have enduring consequences in vulnerable and fragile societies, and as such need to be adequately managed and/or disposed of by making use of the correct mechanisms and best practice guidelines," the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) noted in the latest of a series of reports on munitions storage.
"Arms and ammunition stockpiles are becoming increasingly unstable due to age and, in many cases, unintentional mismanagement," Ben Coetzee, Senior Researcher at the ISS Arms Management Programme, told IRIN.
"Since 2007 several explosions occurred in Mozambique and at least one in Tanzania, resulting in hundreds of injuries and many deaths. Seen in this light, there is an urgent need to re-evaluate the current principles of ammunition stockpile management."
In the past decade there have also been accidental explosions in military storage facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Guinea, Nigeria, Angola and Sierra Leone.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.
We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant.
But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced.
You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission.