Over the past 25 years there have been reports of more than 400 unplanned explosions at munitions sites in almost half the world's countries. The UEMS rate is quickly increasing. Whereas the Small Arms Survey's UEMS Database shows 70 such incidents for the 10-year period between 1987 and 1996, more than this number was registered in the past two years alone. These events occur in large part because states store their munitions improperly. This article reviews the direct and indirect consequences of these explosions on peace and security. It also notes steps states are taking—or should take—to improve practice in stockpile management.



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