By Mike Sebalu
The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent serving under the East African Community Regional Force has disposed of 18 pieces of unexploded ordinances, the force announced on Tuesday.
According to a statement published on the UPDF official website, the explosives include; rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) bombs, main battle tank bombs, anti-tank bombs, 82-millimeter recoilless bombs, bomb fuses, hand grenade,s and assorted live ammunition of assault rifle weapons from several plantations, fields and bushes within the villages of Mabenga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The commanding officer of the 9th battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Mawanda Lubega says some of the bombs were still functional and posed a great danger to human lives and animals if tampered with.
UPDF says calmness has been restored in the area, adding that civilians have gone back to cultivate their fields but are currently faced with the challenge of unexploded ordinances left behind as a result of previous wars.
“Farmers from Mabenga lauded the UPDF EACRF Contingent for the efforts towards removing the ordinances. They called upon EACRF and partners to come to their rescue and rid of the general areas of North Kivu because their lives depend on agriculture and animal husbandry,” the statement reads in part.
The force says Mabenga is one of the food-producing areas of North kivu where food and cash crops are produced to sustain the population.