AU chair takes rescue team to Congo

2012-03-07 20:48

Cotonou - Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, current chair of the African Union, left Cotonou on Wednesday for Congo with a medical team following the blasts at a munitions dump in Brazzavile which claimed nearly 200 lives.

"The president is going to Congo to express his condolences and the solidarity of Benin and Africa to the people of the Congo hit by the blasts on Sunday," a spokesperson at the Benin presidency, Vincent Dassi, told AFP.

Yayi is expected to arrive in the Congolese capital of Brazzaville later Wednesday, accompanied by seven medical specialists in burns and five experts who will help in demining the munitions site.

Benin will provide Congo with 150 tons of rice and 1 000 treated mosquito nets for the victims of the disaster, Dassi said.

Sunday's disaster also left more than 1 300 wounded. The explosions, blamed on a short-circuit and fire, flattened hundreds of houses in Brazzaville, leaving more than 5 000 people homeless.

The blasts were felt in Kinshasa, the capital of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, across the Congo river.

Read more on:    au  |  thomas boni yayi  |  congo  |  benin  |  central africa
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