Been enjoying our Fixing Aid podcast? We'd love to hear from you!

  1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Congo, Republic of

Weapons recovery a success - government

Guards stand next to illegal weapons before the bonfire, Kinkala, south of Brazzavile, at a ceremony to destroy weapons formerly used by his Ninja militias, Congo, 8 June 2007.
(Laudes Mbon/IRIN)

At least 2,800 weapons recovered from ex-combatants in a three-week operation in the southern Pool region, site of several civil wars between 1998 and 2003, have been destroyed, according to a government official.



"On Monday afternoon, in Kinkala, we incinerated some 2,873 weapons collected from ninja ex-combatants in the Pool region," Moandzibi Olingoba, the commissioner in charge of the economic reintegration of former fighters, told IRIN on 2 March. Kinkala, the main town in the Pool, is located 70km south of the capital, Brazzaville.



The Congolese government on 10 February launched the operation to purchase some 3,000 weapons mainly from the estimated 5,000 ex-combatant ninjas and others illegally possessing weapons in the region. The ninjas fought the Congolese army under former rebel chief, Frédéric Bintsamou, alias Pasteur Ntoumi.



"The operation to repurchase the weapons proceeded without a snag. We achieved 95.7 percent of our objective," Olingoba said.



According to the deputy high commissioner for the reintegration of ex-combatants, Col François Bouesse, the buy-back price for a Kalashnikov was 100,000 CFA francs (US$200). "The more weapons ex-combatants bring in, the more money they will get," Bouesse said on 10 February.



The operation, which cost about $1 million, was extended by eight days to allow more ex-combatants to sell their weapons in the 17 offices throughout the region.



At least 34,000 illegal weapons are estimated to be in illegal circulation in the country, mostly in the Pool region, according to a 2005 study by the Swiss NGO Small Arms Survey. No new surveys have been carried out.



lmm/aw/mw


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

Share this article
Join the discussion

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. 

Support The New Humanitarian today.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join