Conventional Weapons Management and Disposal report – January

MAG Burundi started in 2007 with a programme to support the government of Burundi in reducing the threat of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and unsecured stockpiles. MAG is currently offering technical support to the Weapons Destruction Workshop and supporting the Burundian Government in implementing the Nairobi Protocol, Articles 6, 7 and 8. Implementation of the comprehensive Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) project with the Police Nationale du Burundi (PNB) continued with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MAG-PNB mobile team collected surplus and obsolete PNB-owned Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Police Regions North and East as follows: 1,298 ammunition, 15,207 Small Arms Ammunition (SAA), 150 weapons and 351 magazines. The Physical Security team improved security in 9 PNB armouries of Police Region East. The MAG-PNB mobile team continued collecting and destroying SALW handed-over by the population to the National Commission for Civilian Disarmament and SALW (CDCPA) with UNDP funding: 1,602 ammunition, 11,843 SAA, 161 weapons and 2,558 magazines. A total of 2,620 items of ammunition was destroyed this month. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) MAG DRC launched a nationwide CWMD programme in September 2006 and in May 2007 received written authorisation from the Ministry of Defence to destroy surplus military stocks in all Military Regions. Also in May 2007, a destruction centre was established by MAG at the Central Logistics Base in Kinshasa. In September 2008 MAG received written authorisation from the Ministry of the Interior (extended in April 2009) to commence CWMD activities with the Congolese National Police. MAG DRC is currently operating two mobile CWMD teams and the destruction team based at the Logistics Central Base under funding from the US Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. In January a new CWMD Technical Operations Manager arrived in the programme as well as a new Technical Field Manager for CWMD Team 1. The original manager of this team became MAG DRC’s internal Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) Manager tasked with providing support to both the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) and CWMD side of MAG DRC’s operations. After completing an induction in Kinshasa, the CWMD Team 1 TFM then deployed with his team to Goma, accompanied by the QA/QC Manager, from where over the next few months they will be collecting arms and ammunition handed over by the FARDC and UN DDR programmes throughout the whole of North Kivu province. CWMD Team 2 also returned to South Kivu at the end of the month where they begun final preparations there in order to complete the first phase of operations in February. One of MAG DRC’s Manual Clearance Teams (MCTs) normally associated with the HMA side of the programme also contributed to MAG’s CWMD operations in January by destroying 28,350 items of Small Arms Ammunition (SAA) handed over by the FARDC from their regional logistics stores in Lubumbashi in Katanga Province. MAG conducted several visits to these stores over 2009 and identified these items for destruction during a previous deployment. Weapons destruction work at the Central Logistics Base workshop continued as normal with 851 weapons being destroyed over December and January. In total, MAG DRC has to date destroyed 2,319,018 items of ammunition weighing 516 tons, as well as 101,230 weapons. IRAQ Iraq has been subjected to protracted and intense conflict for over 25 years and is one of the countries most affected by explosive CW. The conflict in 2003 led to further, extensive CW contamination and resulted in large numbers of unsecured and abandoned stockpiles and caches of SALW. MAG Iraq has eight SALW teams that deploy from the programme’s 4 operational bases to conduct Small Arms and Light Weapons destruction tasks in Erbil, Sulaimaniyah, Dahuk, Mosul and Kirkuk governorates. During January, 3 CWD response teams participated in the program’s annual refresher training after the Christmas and New Year holidays. One week training was conducted by MAG’s Technical Field Manager in Chamchamal base for 15 personnel within the CWD response teams. On January 17th, the three teams re-deployed to reported stockpiles of CW resuming daily operations. Teams deployed 25 times from the programme’s 3 operation bases to 38 different villages completing 81 emergency conventional weapons destruction tasks in Erbil, Sulimaniyah, Dahuk, Mosul, Diyala and Kirkuk governorates. During this month 1,427 CW were safely destroyed. Items included 103 70mm PG, 507 anti-personnel landmines, 133 fuses, 199 mortars, 245 projectiles and 56 small arms ammunitions, as well as other types of unexploded ordnance. During January teams destroyed more than 14 stockpiles. The team in Chamchamal deployed to Chimany Azady village completing 1 task to safely remove and destroy 65 items of CW. Items were posing a significant threat to the local population. The team completed 18 tasks destroying 215 hazardous items in Derabun Collective town in Rzgari, Dohuk. The dedicated Community Liaison (CL) teams conducted 25 liaison visits to 20 different villages in Kirkuk and Sulimaniyah liaising with local authorities, farmers, shepherds and other villagers. The team in Chamchamal met with the mayor of Laylan district in Kirkuk to discuss the issue of CW contamination in the area. RECSA (GREAT LAKES REGION AND HORN OF AFRICA) The project with RECSA has now come to an end and MAG is actively seeking funding from interested donors to be able to continue with the technical support not only to RECSA member states but to Africa in general. REPUBLIC OF CONGO (ROC) As of September 2008, with the confirmation of funding from CPP and WRA, the Mines Advisory Group has resumed its formal partnership with the Ministry of Defence in the Republic of Congo. MAG is providing technical support to the Forces Arm�es Congolaises (FAC) to safely manage and dispose of conventional weapons. Throughout January, MAG has continued CWMD support activities to the FAC in the Republic of Congo with weapons and ammunition destruction from storage depots in urban areas. Demolitions took place in the town of Bambou, 60km from Brazzaville, where MAG has destroyed 4,923 items, including 4,841 SAA. A total of 1,268kg of obsolete ammunition were destroyed in front of the US Ambassador to RoC and a WRA and DTRA delegation. Items destroyed included: 53 x 75mm shell explosive; 1 x 85 mm shell explosive; 16 x 100 mm shell explosive; 1 x 107mm shell explosive; 3 x 130 mm shell explosive; 1 x Vog 25 grenade rifle; 2 x TM57 anti tank mine; 1 x 122mm (rocket propellant charge); 4841 x SAA. The team also undertook an assessment to IMPFONDO town in North West of Congo, preparation for IMPFONDO operations and departure by road. RWANDA MAG started its CWMD activities in Rwanda in November 2008. MAG is providing technical assistance and training to the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) in basic stockpile management and the destruction of surplus SALW and munitions. MAG established a central weapons destruction workshop at Kanombe near Kigali and trained two RDF teams in weapons recognition and weapons cutting. A central demolition site for the destruction of munitions has been identified at Gabiro in north-east Rwanda. Operations re-started in August 2009 with a grant from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US State Department. During January, 1,377 weapons were destroyed. On 11th January the team reached the milestone of cutting its 30,000th weapon, meaning MAG has helped Rwanda become the African country to destroy more small arms than any other in the last year. In total, more than 70 tonnes of surplus munitions have also been destroyed in conjunction with the RDF in the last year. The current project came to an end at the end of January. SOMALIA MAG commenced its CWMD activities in the Puntland region of Somalia in May 2008 with funding from the US Department of State WRA. MAG trained an EOD team consisting of 7 Puntland Police officers and further provided technical assistance and equipment for the team performing CWMD activities throughout Puntland. All training and field operations are carried out in close coordination with the national governing authority the Puntland Mine Action Centre (PMAC). With further funding from WRA, activities in Puntland re-started in September 2009. The team is happy to report that in Galcaio we cleared and destroyed over 5 tons of unwanted UXO. In between deployments the EOD team also received trauma medical training from Global Medic. SUDAN MAG has been implementing SALW activates in Sudan since 2005. Currently, there is one dedicated SALW team operating out of MAG’s base in Yei, Central Equatoria, but performs clearance activities in neighbouring Western Equatoria also. The team is funded by WRA. In southern Sudan, MAG also has teams that conduct EOD spot tasks, or logistically remove CW along with other clearance activities. These teams are funded through UNOPS, Dutch Government, DFAIT and CIDA. In northern Sudan there are two multi-task mine action teams, funded by DIFD and WRA that both conduct EOD spot tasks or logistically remove CW along with other clearance activities. The teams usually go out for 2-3 weeks at a time fly camping in different areas before returning to base to rest and refuel. Sudan provides challenging terrain and difficult conditions to work in, particularly during the rainy season when many areas become impassable. The following is a summary of the results achieved by the MAG Sudan programme in January 2010: Removed and destroyed: AP mines 75; AT mines 3; SAA 4,533; Other UXO 1,111; Total ERW removed/destroyed 5,722; Spot tasks completed 21; Stockpiles completed 3 stockpiles of UXO and SAA; Direct beneficiaries 705. MAG would like to express its gratitude to the following current donors to our CWMD projects around the globe: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Canadian International Development Agency; DFID; Royal Government of the Netherlands; Swiss Government; UNDP; UNOPS (UN Office for Project Services); US Department of State, Political Military Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

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spotted by RS

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