Rwanda will on Thursday destroy 49 tons of expired and faulty explosives, to avoid hazardous effects they would cause to the environment.
To be destroyed include grenades, bombs and ammunitions, in compliance with the non-proliferation of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).
The exercise will be conducted at Gabiro Military Barracks and coordinated by the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA).
The latter is an intergovernmental organization established in June 2005 to address the proliferation of illicit SALW. It has a general secretariat based in Nairobi.
“The exercise helps to prevent illegal possession of arms which can fuel conflicts,” Eric Kayiranga, in charge of research at RECSA told KT Press.
“Keeping a store of expired explosives leads to hazardous events in the environment.”
In February 2011, 26 people were killed, and over 300 injured by explosions of expired arms in the Gombo la Mboto military camp in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
In April 2012, around 200 people also died when an arms’ dump exploded in Brazzaville, capital of the Congo Republic.
Destruction of arms in Rwanda is a regular exercise since 2008 where 160 tons of ammunition and arms were destroyed from Rwanda Defense Force stores.
In a regional workshop on validation of armed crimes taking place in Kigali today (Monday) RECSA will unveil a report on armed crimes.
“Rwanda reported the lowest cases of armed crimes in the region,” said Kayiranga commenting on the report which covered a period of five years, 2010-2015.
According to RECSA, Africa loses about $18 billion per year as a result of armed conflicts.