Ageing, unstable, and excess conventional ammunition stockpiles pose the dual risk of accidental explosion at munition sites and diversion to illicit markets, thereby constituting a significant danger to public safety and security. More than half of the world’s countries have experienced an ammunition storage area explosion over the past decades, resulting in severe humanitarian and socioeconomic consequences.
Thousands of people have been killed, injured, and displaced, and the livelihoods of entire communities have been disrupted. The humanitarian impact of unintended explosions is amplified when they occur in urban areas, as illustrated by ammunition depot explosions in a crowded area in Brazzaville in 2011, resulting in approximately 500 killed, 2,500 injured, and 121,000 made homeless.
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)