From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : RSLAF Engineers Detonate 36 Disposals of Unexploded Ordinance
By Emmanuel I. Kamara
Jun 21, 2017, 17:00

A team of experience engineer personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) headed by Colonel A. B. S Bah has on Tuesday 20th June, 2017, detonated 34 RPG7, one 81-millimetre and one 60-millimetre mortar bombs at the Peace Mission Training Centre at Hastings, in Freetown.


According to the Commander, Engineer Regiment of RSLAF, Colonel A. S Bah, the activity was carried out mainly to execute safe disposal of the unexploded ordinances that resulted from either military trainings that including the firing of diverse types of weapons oras a result of the eleven years civil war in the country. He explained further that the manufacturing factories of these weapons do not carry out a 100% complete work and sometimes it possesses serious threat to officers firing them and it led to the non-detonation of these unexploded bombs. He added that the percentages of the none detonation of these weapons ranges between 10-40%.


Unexploded RPG7 Bombs ready for detonation


Colonel Bah continue that these weapons are so dangerous as they sometimes get possible detonation because even though they are not fully detonated even when they are being fired and that made the bomb itself very unstable, so it can be detonated by touch, fire and even by radiation from television or mobile phone or when heated with hard metal.


Colonel Bah disclosed that they are currently disposing these ordinances now because, though they have well trained personnel to undertake the exercise, but they ran out of the required demolition accessories to do so earlier. He however thanked UNDP through the Small Arms Commissionwho provided funds to get the demolition accessories and additionally, OCTIA Mining Company in Kono supported them with additional demolition accessories that has capacitated them to undertake the detonation exercise.


RSLAF Engineer Captain Charles & team preparing detonation accessories


He maintained that last week Thursday 15th June 2017, they detonated a grenade at Wilberforce Barracks which was brought by a civilian and on Friday the same week, they detonated 120 millimetres mortar bomb at Regent village, Western Rural Area of Freetown.


Colonel Bah went on to say that one 81 millimetres mortar bomb which is high explosive, covers 90-100 metres radius and 40 metres high. This can cause severe damage to anything within such range.

He expresses utter shock and dismay over the rapid land encroachment within the firing range and the risk involve in residing in these areas. He added that human beings are not perfect and even those who manufacture these weapons are neither perfect, they can change direction from the intended target and cause destruction on lives and properties. He went on to say that civilians are carrying these dangerous bombs as metal ignorantly within Freetown Capital.


He called on stakeholders and the public to be cautious in dealing with metals in the country. “There are so many disposals of unexploded ordinances in the country because of the past civil war. People should not be surprise that we still have disposal of unexploded ordinances, there are still remnants of unexploded ordinances of the Second World War,” Col. Bah posited.


He concluded by assuring the general public that they would do their best to save the lives of the people of the country and he revealed that theexercise wouldcontinueon Thursday 22nd June 2017, at the Benguma Military Training Centre.

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