Okatope-The Oshikoto police on Wednesday detonated seven unexploded mortar bombs of South African origin and destroyed 10 359 rounds of live ammunition of different calibre at Okatope, including those that were surrendered during the amnesty period for the handover to the police of illegal arms and ammunition.
The amnesty that started last August ended recently, culminating in 1 274 illegal firearms surrendered and 99 509 rounds of ammunition and 81 explosive ordnances.
The unexploded ordnances that were in the proximity of households were detected last December by the Explosive Control Sub-Division during its clearance operation at Engoyi village in the Okatope area where Africa Renewable Power (Pty) Ltd intends to construct a solar power plant. Clearance work continues.
“The clearance work at Engoyi in the Okatope area for Africa Renewable Power started on December 23 last year and will end on March 12. So far 10 hectares of the 30 hectares have been covered, and the police found six 81mm mortars and a 60mm high explosive mortar of South African origin, 20 live ammunition of different calibre and 40 fuses of various mortar bombs, as well as 98 different types of fired war remnants,” said Chief Inspector Stephanus Nuuyi of the Community Affairs Departement of the Namibian Police.
In addition, 10 000 rounds of live ammunition of different calibre surrendered during the amnesty were destroyed plus a 90mm live high explosive anti-tank mine, two 18mm and six 60mm fired tail fins of illuminating shells, rubber bullets, 20mm and three 30mm live rounds.
Some of the unexploded ordnances might have been misfired during the war and thus could not explode hence they are still live and could explode when stepped upon.
“The police in Oshikoto Region reiterate their call to members of the public to continue reporting suspicious items found in their areas to the nearest police in order for such objects to be removed or destroyed,” cautioned Nuuyi, while reminding the public that such objects can injure and kill, therefore people should not touch them.