DRC: Mabenga Farmers have Lauded UPDF for Disposing Unexploded Munitions


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The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team under the Field Engineering Unit of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Contingent serving under the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) has safely disposed off 18 pieces of assorted unexploded ordinance.

These included rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) bombs, main battle tank bombs, anti-tank bombs, 82-millimetre recoilless bombs, bomb fuses, hand grenade and assorted live ammunition from assault rifle weapons from several plantations, fields, and bushes within the villages of Mabenga.

According to Lt. Col. Samuel Mawanda Lubega, the commanding officer of the 9th battalion, ever since the UPDF Contingent took control of the general areas of Mabenga, peace and calmness have been restored.

“As a result, the civilians have returned to cultivate their fields, but they are confronted with a problem posed by unexploded ordinances left over from previous wars,” Lubega said.

Lt. Col. Lubega stated that the UPDF Contingent has a duty to defend the ‘wanainchi’ from the risks of unexploded ordinances, and he added that some of the explosives were still operational and posed a serious threat to both human and animal lives if interfered with.

Major Aine Julius, the UPDF EOD Field Engineering Commander, stated that the community listened to their instructions regarding the management of the explosives and warned the community to be watchful and cautious when interacting with unknown materials because the bombs are lethal and can cause death once they explode.

Mabenga farmers praised the UPDF EACRF Contingent for their efforts to get the ordinances removed. Their lives depend on agriculture and animal husbandry, thus they appealed to EACRF and others to come to their aid and remove the general areas of North Kivu.

From the centre of Rutshuru-Kiwanja town, Mabenga is 37 kilometres away. It is one of the regions of North Kivu that produces food and cash crops, including sorghum, soy, beans, cassava, and maize, to feed the people of not only the Rutshuru territory but North Kivu and beyond.


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