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African Union and Somali Forces Strengthen IED Defense Skills

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A three-day training program commenced in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, , focusing on enhancing the capabilities of around 80 officers from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Somali security forces.

The training, organized by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), aims to equip participants with skills to detect and neutralize improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The training is designed to bolster the capacity of Somalia’s security forces in effectively countering the threats posed by IEDs in population centers and major supply routes (MSRs). MSRs are designated routes within an area of operations through which the majority of traffic flows, supporting military and humanitarian operations.

During the training session, ATMIS emphasized the importance of assessing the IED threat in Somalia and implementing ongoing counter-improvised explosive devices (C-IEDs) operations. This assessment is crucial for devising effective strategies to mitigate the risks posed by IEDs to the security and stability of Somalia.

Justin Smith, the chief of UNMAS, reaffirmed the commitment of both ATMIS and the Somali government to address the menace of IEDs. This commitment underscores the collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing security and stability in Somalia by mitigating the threats posed by explosive devices.

UNMAS plays a significant role as a partner to ATMIS, consistently working to strengthen the capacity of both ATMIS and Somali security forces in identifying and disarming IEDs. Through sustained efforts, UNMAS contributes to minimizing the impact of IEDs deployed by militant groups such as al-Shabab.

The training initiative is critical in mitigating civilian casualties and disruptions to the movement of people and goods caused by IED attacks. By enhancing the skills and preparedness of security forces, the training seeks to bolster Somalia’s resilience against the persistent threat of IEDs, contributing to overall peace and security in the region.