CONGO GUNS
FESTIVAL DU SCOOP D'ANGER JURY SPECIAL PRIZE 2010 - GETTY IMAGES CREATIVE GRANT FINALIST 2010
In DRC, years of fighting have resulted in large amount of weapons and ammunitions abandoned, hidden or stored in unsafe conditions around the country. Even in the Western or Southern provinces at peace, weapons and explosive ordnance continue to kill, either because they are handle by civilians unaware of the danger, because they detonate fortuitously. Moreover, the availability of weapons and ammunitions constitute a risk to the security of the territory and the current peaceful transition process in DRC. In 2008 and 2009 the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo conducted in-depth investigations into the causes of instability in the country. The final reports found that within FARDC, stockpile management is almost non-existent; the DRC Government does not know how many of its arms are stored at which depots and with which units. Moreover, poverty (a rank-and-file soldier in FARDC receives around $40 a month in salary) and the lack of accountability allows soldiers to sell small quantities of weapons and ammunition for money. As a consequence, arms trafficking is continuous in DRC. It contributes to armed criminality and can sometimes lead to the resurgence of conflicts.
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