The United States government announces an additional US $6 million for conventional weapons destruction and stockpile management programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The United States has now contributed more than $36 million since 2002 to improve weapons security and accountability, destroy excess and obsolete munitions, and clear landmines and unexploded ordnance in the DRC.
“For eighteen years, the United States has sought to promote stabilization and security, particularly in Eastern Congo, through humanitarian mine action and by stemming the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons. In support of our bilateral Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity, we are proud to continue this partnership with the Government of the DRC,” said Ambassador Hammer. “The United States has improved the security of 81 weapons storage facilities, trained nearly 200 storekeepers, and destroyed more than 1,700 tons of excess ammunition and 180,000 excess small arms. All of which has the very concrete result of saving lives and keeping people safe from injury.”
These new U.S. investments build on existing partnerships with the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and Congolese National Police (PNC) to improve their management of weapons and ammunition stockpiles. The United States has notified activities as required by the UN Security Council arms embargo notification process.
From the additional resources, $4.6 million will support the Mines Advisory Group (@MAGSavesLives) to build or rehabilitate 72 storage structures in the east and Kinshasa region, train 166 personnel, and destroy excess weapons and ammunition. This project will protect government weapons from falling into the hands of armed groups, improve stockpile management, and mitigate the risk of accidental depot explosions.
The remaining $1.4 million will extend an existing project with the Regional Centre for Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, Horn of Africa, and Bordering States (@RECSASEC) to mark government-held weapons in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces in partnership with the National Commission for Control of Small Arms and Reduction of Armed Violence (CNC-ALPC). Marking weapons facilitates tracing efforts and improves accountability.
The United States is the world leader in Conventional Weapons Destruction, providing more than $3.7 billion in more than 100 countries since 1993 to advance security, stability, and economic development priorities. To learn more about the United States’ global conventional weapons destruction efforts, check out our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM.