HALO secures ammunition and explosives in Central African Republic

The HALO Trust Explosive Ordnance disposal team has successfully conducted an operation to remove 6 tonnes of explosives and ammunition from Camp Beal to a secure location for safe keeping and subsequent disposal. The team had also destroyed 80kg of unstable dynamite.

Inhabited by approximately 850 ex-Seleka combatants and their families, Camp Beal is located near the centre of Bangui with a hospital, schools, a TV station, local businesses and many private houses in close proximity. The position of the camp made it extremely hazardous, not only for its inhabitants but for thousands of civilians working and living in the vicinity of the camp. HALO’s estimations of the minimum impact of a potential explosion at the camp indicated that all buildings would have been destroyed or seriously damaged inside the camp and some of the surrounding area, potentially killing and injuring an estimated 800 people. The widest impact radius would have affected several thousand people. Thanks to this appropriate action, a potentially disastrous explosion has been successfully averted.

Action took two days and involved great logistical support from UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), coordinated by UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS). The whole operation was jointly secured by MINUSCA Force and Police as well as the Central African National Security Forces. During the operation, the HALO team was visited by MINUSCA Chief, Gen. Babacar Gaye, Force Commander Gen. Martin Chomu Tumenta, Police Commissioner Luis Miguel Carrilho, UNMAS Programme Manager Richard Derieux and other high ranking officials of MINUSCA.

In October 2014 HALO, in partnership with UNMAS, has started a Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD) and Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) project in support of MINUSCA providing an entry-level EOD, Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM) and PSSM capacity, identifying and meeting EOD needs in Bangui and beyond, and assessing the Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) contamination across the country.

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Central African Republic