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Cablegate: Embassy Luanda Destroys "Millionth Weapon"

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLU #0692 1911644
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101644Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4140

UNCLAS LUANDA 000692

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PARM KHDP AO
SUBJECT: EMBASSY LUANDA DESTROYS "MILLIONTH WEAPON"

REF: STATE 93110

1. (U) Summary: Angolan police, government officials,
military and representatives from the diplomatic and NGO
communities applauded as Embassy Luanda,s Charge d,
Affaires and an Angolan Armed Forces General destroyed the
symbolic "Millionth Weapon" during Embassy Luanda,s
commemoration of International Small Arms Destruction Day on
July 9th, 2007. The event focused on progress made in the
destruction of Angola's excess weapons through the
partnership between the USG, international NGOs and the
Angolan government. USG-supported weapon destruction teams,
in a grant managed by the British NGO HALO Trust, have
destroyed 327 tons of small arms and 281 tons of unexploded
ordnance since work began in 2005. The event was
well-covered in print and by radio and television media. End
Summary.

2. (U) With representatives from the Angolan police,
government, military, the diplomatic and NGO communities on
hand, Embassy Luanda destroyed the symbolic "Millionth
Weapon" during the "Millionth Weapon Destruction" event on
July 9th, 2007. Our NGO implementing partner, UK-based HALO
Trust walked attendees through its weapons destruction
process, explaining the equipment, safety and accountability
procedures. Charge Francisco Fernandez focused on the
progress made in the destruction of Angola,s excess weapons
through the partnership between the USG, international NGOs
and the Angolan government. The Charge , military and police
representatives, and the Dutch Ambassador to Luanda joined
forces to destroy several weapons which had been secured from
police stockpiles for destruction. Note: The Dutch and
British governments also support HALO Trust in its small arms
destruction program in Angola. End note.

3. (U) Embassy Luanda,s press release was covered on
national radio, television and print press prior to the event
and the ceremony was attended by all major news outlets in
the country. The ceremony also received ample coverage on
television and radio outlets, and both Portuguese and English
language web-based news services carried the story. Members
of various press outlets interviewed embassy, government, and
HALO representatives about weapons destruction programs in
Angola.

4. (U) Embassy Luanda extends its thanks to the PM and WRA
teams, in particular Dustin Cho and John Stevens, for their
planning, financial, and public relations support of this
event. Pictures and an article of the event will be
available on the Embassy Luanda website at
http://luanda.usembassy.gov.
FERNANDEZ

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