IED training for Somali police

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With withdrawal work well underway in Somalia, other work continues to ensure that civilian safety and security is maintained.

This saw an intensive, five-day training course on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) facilitated by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for 13 ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) police officers.

A major component of the training was to ensure thorough inspections along major supply routes with IED detection and neutralisation the aim. The workshop gave attendees an overview of technology, how best to boost and utilise intelligence, foster efficient information exchange and implement strategic counter IED operations.

Speaking at the end of the workshop, Jowhar-based ATMIS police officer James Maada said the training was important because of the prevalence of IEDs in Somalia. Additionally, it “empowers us not just to safeguard ourselves but to impart vital knowledge to our Somali counterparts”.

UNMAS is a key partner to ATMIS, according to a mission statement, and has over the years worked “consistently to strengthen the capacity of ATMIS and Somali Security Forces to effectively identify and disarm IEDs”.

“These efforts have been crucial in mitigating the impact of IEDs placed by Al-Shabaab militants, which historically led to substantial civilian casualties and severe disruptions to movement of people and goods.”