Republic of Congo: Thousands still homeless after munitions site explosion

Around 14,000 people remain homeless in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, weeks after a munitions depot exploded, killing 223 people, wounding 2,500 and destroying large parts of the city. According to IRIN news, about 20,000 students have had their education interrupted by displacement and the destruction of university buildings. In his presentation during the Preparatory Committee for the 2012 Review Conference on the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA), Félix Kokou Aklavon of the Togolese Action Network on Small Arms (RASALT) and the IANSA International Advisory Council (IAC) highlighted this event as an illustration of the need to strengthen PoA implementation. He said, “International assistance is crucial to support stockpile management, through measures such as regular inspections of stockpiles and the development and maintenance of inventories. As many stockpiles in Africa are situated in cities and towns, it is also necessary to consider their relocation away from densely populated areas”.