Safety concerns dog Congo repairs

Congo’s army on Thursday widened a safety zone around the site of the weekend arms dump explosions that killed nearly 200 people amid reports that experts had begun work to make the area safe.

Troops at the edge of the zone were preventing local people who had been allowed in the previous day from passing.

One soldier on duty said the cordon had been expanded while experts had begun tackling the munitions still unexploded after Sunday’s devastating blasts. This information could not immediately be officially confirmed.

The series of blasts on Sunday at a depot in the east of the Republic of Congo’s capital Brazzaville killed almost 200 people and wounded more than 1 300, leaving city hospitals overwhelmed.

Hundreds of houses around the arms depot were destroyed, leaving more than 5 000 people homeless.

‘Thieves, thieves!’
In districts just outside the zone on Thursday, local people continued to look for their belongings in the ruins of their homes.

Many complained that looters had already made off with their possessions — and much of what had not been looted was smashed.

“I’m too late,” said one man in his forties who did not want to be named. “They took everything of value. Thieves, thieves!”

“They took all our money,” said a woman, who also wished to remain anonymous. “The prowlers come and take what they can put in their pockets: money, jewellery,” she added.

On Wednesday, the Congolese Observatory of Human Rights denounced what it said was the government’s “chaotic” management of the disaster.

Many of those made homeless by the explosions were sheltered in two churches, in an indoor market and in the city’s stadiums, it said.

The Chadian president’s office on Thursday announced it had sent meat, medical supplies and $1-million to the Republic of Congo to help those hit by the disaster. — Sapa-AFP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Salie-Hlophe accuses Goliath of lying and racism

In response to Goliath’s gross misconduct complaint, Salie-Hlophe says Goliath has ‘an unhealthy obsession with my marriage’

Treasury is still seeking SAA funds

The government has committed an additional R2-billion to the airline, but has yet to pay it out

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.