Raziah Athman with Laudes Martial Mbon
The Congolese government on Thursday destroyed thousands of decommissioned passports, too old to meet current technological standards.
The destruction was ordered by court, that ruled the diplomatic travel documents did not contain a chip that could read information automatically at immigration posts.
Most of these passports had been acquired by 2014, a year before the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), which Congo is a member, introduced the biometric passports.
Before French dignitaries, and local authorities, the passports were set up in flames.
“It’s not a loss. In any case, these passports do not serve any purpose. As has been indicated on numerous occasions since 2015 the government issued biometric passports that are readable. This is not the case for these destroyed ones”, said Cyprien Sylvestre Mamina, the Secretary General of the Ministry Congolese Foreign Affairs.