The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ms. Kristalina Georgieva says she is “very saddened by the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Equatorial Guinea following the massive explosion at a military compound.”
“On behalf of everyone at the International Monetary Fund, I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Equatorial Guinea, especially to the families of the victims of this tragedy,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.
She said the IMF was exploring “all possible ways to support the people of Equatorial Guinea at this difficult time—building on the ongoing policy dialogue and working with the international community—and to help the country move toward more sustainable and inclusive growth.”
At least 31 people died in massive explosions at a military base in the port city of Bata on Monday, according to a statement by the health ministry.
More than 400 people were injured and many missing under the rubble, the central African nation said after the blasts on Sunday.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo blamed the military for mishandling dynamite and other explosive devices kept in its care.
In his statement read out on local media, the world’s longest serving president said the mishandling led to the blasts after some people believed to be farmers set up a fire in a field bordering the military base.
“Bata was the location of an accident caused by the negligence and carelessness of a unit charged with the care and protection of the stores of dynamite and explosives next to the ammunition at the Nkoantoma Military Base, which caught fire from the burning of nearby land by neighbors, causing an explosion in the dynamite and explosives store and subsequently the ammunition,” the president’s statement read.
He appealed to the international community to assist the country and rebuild the country’s infrastructure.