D.R. CONGO: 'Anyone with a weapon prefers to sell it to have a good life'
The years of conflict that ravaged the Democratic Republic of Congo have resulted in large numbers of weapons and ammunition being scattered around the country. This constitutes a threat to the fragile peace process, as there are few workable processes in place to ensure the control of these items.
Individual soldiers are held accountable for their weapons and ammunition, but there is little such accountability for stocks and depots. And with a rank-and-file soldier in the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) receiving a salary of around US$40 a month, and a brigadier general making around US$601, poverty leads soldiers to sell weapons and ammunition for money.
This feeds illicit trafficking activities, in particular in the Kivu provinces. According to a group of experts commissioned by the UN Security Council, "FARDC is the main source of weapons and ammunition for non-governmental armed groups".
Confronted with this situation, MAG aims to reduce the number of weapons and ammunition stored by the FARDC, and improve the management of stockpiles. During the two days of this photo report at the FARDC logistics base in Bukavu, MAG destroyed more than four tons of surplus or defective ammunition.
To date, throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, MAG has destroyed more than 102,000 weapons and 655 tons of ammunition, all of which contributes to the security and protection of the civil population.
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Reporting and photos by Gwenn Dubourthoumieu.