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After its independence from France in 1960, Congo experienced a prolonged period of violence and political instability with several coups d’état and widespread political violence.[1] This situation, along with the resurgence of conflict in the Pool Department between the national military and the “Ninja militia” in 2016-2017, led to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW).[2] After various ceasefires and peace agreements, the country established disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) programmes[3] as well as a national action plan on peace and security, notably with the support of UNDP.[4] Nonetheless, it is reported that a significant number of weapons and ammunition remain in the hands of former members of non-state armed groups and that the DDR programmes are still ongoing.[5]

In terms of Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM), the country notably benefitted from emergency responses by UNMAS, MAG, ICRC, and Handicap International after the dramatic explosion of the Mpila military munition depot in Brazzaville in 2012.[6]

[1] Robert Muggah and Ryan Nichols, « Quoi de neuf sur le front congolais ? Évaluation de base sur la circulation des armes légères et de petit calibre en République du Congo », Small Arms Survey, 2007,

[2] Spyros Demetriou, Robert Muggah, Ian Biddle, “Small Arms Availability, Trade and Impacts in the Republic of Congo”, Small Arms Survey, 2002,

[3] UNDP, « Mission d’appui technique des Nations Unies au Haut-Commissariat pour la réinsertion des ex-combattants en vue de l’élaboration d’un programme de démobilisation, désarmement et réinsertion (DDR) en République du Congo. Rapport », 2018,

[4] République du Congo, Ministère de la Promotion de la Femme et de l’intégration de la Femme au développement, « Plan d’Action national de mise en œuvre de la résolution 1325 du conseil de sécurité des nations unies sur les femmes, la paix et la sécurité (2018-2022) », 2018,

[5] BBC News Afrique, « Près de 2000 armes de guerres saisies au Congo-Brazzaville », 07.09.18,

[6] GICHD, “UNMAS Rapid Response Project. Congo-Brazzaville”, September 2012,

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Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, 3 accidental explosions were reported in the Congo Republic (Table 1).

Table. 1 Accidental explosions in the Congo Republic (1979-2021)








State (military)










State (military)



Source: UEMS Database (December 2021); Small Arms Survey. ‘Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS)’.

Cases of diversion

Insufficient information on cases of diversion in the Congo Republic.


Destruction, use, or export of ammunition as an indicator of a state’s ability to identify and decrease aging, unsafe, or surplus ammunition.  

Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in the Congo Republic.


Further requirements for an effective through-life management of ammunition in the country.

To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for the Congo Republic:

  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles.

Source: PoA Report 2020, Congo. Please note that PoA reports focus on SALW and not specifically on ammunition.

Published Date: Wednesday 31 of August 2022