Craft weapons in DRC: Survey in Bandundu and Maniema

The Democratic Republic of Congo is known for an important proliferation of small arms. However, in this huge country, the situation varies considerably from one region to another. While border regions in the East– especially the Kivus and Ituri – experience very high rates of war weapons possession, imported from abroad and industrially manufactured, other parts of the country are much less affected by this phenomenon. In these areas, the weapons held by many civilians are locally made and mainly intended mainly for hunting.

This study is dedicated to the production, repair and detention of craft weapons in two provinces of the DRC, Bandundu and Maniema. After presenting the characteristics of these provinces, the legal framework surrounding the production and possession of weapons is examined. Then, the core of the study is devoted to the results of a field survey carried out by GRIP’s local collaborators, revealing several common features between both provinces, including an use firstly intended for hunting and the fact that most producers do not produce only guns, but also a wide range of goods a wide range of goods intended for household or professional use. Some differences between the two provinces were also highlighted, particularly in terms of prices and of the perception of the issue by users. The study concludes with some recommendations to the DRC authorities, in order to make it more easily applicable various provisions of the new law on weapons, currently awaiting promulgation.