The Equatorial Guinean authorities have confirmed that the death toll from the explosions registered on Sunday in a military camp in the city of Bata, the most populous in the country, has left more than a hundred dead.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Equatorial Guinea has detailed through its account on the social network Twitter that the explosions have “so far” left 105 dead and 615 injured, including 133 who continue to be admitted to various hospitals in the country.
The non-governmental organizations Human Rights Watch (HRW) and EG Justice have called on the Equatoguinean authorities to invite international experts to carry out an independent investigation into the explosions.
“The people of Bata are in mourning,” said Tutu Alicante, director of EG Justice, a group that promotes human rights and good governance in Equatorial Guinea. “They deserve credible answers about what has happened and immediate support to treat the injured, take in the homeless and rebuild the city,” he added.
“The only way to achieve this is through an independent investigation and international aid that goes directly to the affected people,” he added, according to a statement published by both organizations.
In this sense, Sarah Saadoun, Human Rights Researcher at HRW, stressed that “the government’s response to the explosion has made clear its atrocious disregard for the well-being of Equatorial Guineans.
“Regardless of the causes of the explosion, Equatoguineans deserve to know why the Army is storing explosives in the middle of a populated area, if there are other stored substances that could pose an imminent public danger and what the Government is doing to prevent another explosion similar in the future, “has settled.
The explosions took place in the area of the Nkuantoma barracks and destroyed a large part of the buildings of the military installations themselves and of the adjoining houses. Rescue efforts are still active in the area in search of possible victims.
For his part, Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has attributed what happened to “recklessness” and “ignorance” and the “malice of those who knew the danger” of the dynamite to which he attributed the explosions.
“Dynamite is normally stored in other parts far away from the population. It is even stored underground (…). That is why we have suffered that devastation and it is practically costing us economic, material and human insecurity. “, settled.