Somalia: UN, AU and UK Join Hands to End Use of IEDs

United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have agreed to work on means to end the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in Somalia.

Following a two-day meeting this week which attended by Stakeholders in Somalia's security sector, the sides highlighted the need to build the capacity of Somali security forces to combat the use of IEDs.

The meeting was supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the British Army.

Participants during the seminar discussed issues relating to pre-deployment and in-mission training of AMISOM troops and their counterpart Somali security forces, dismantling the IED network within Somalia, and disposal of explosives, among others.

They also highlighted the importance of improving the capacity of the Somali security forces to take over from AMISOM in mitigating the IED threat, which will, in turn, facilitate the handover of security responsibilities by AMISOM in line with Somalia Transition Plan.

Lt. Col. Bob Slay, the acting Commander of the British Forces in Somalia stated that the IED environment in Somalia is complex and evolving.

He suggested response mechanisms must therefore evolve and adapt faster to address the threat posed by IEDs in Somalia.

The Deputy Force Commander for AMISOM in-charge of Support and Logistics, Maj. Gen. George Owinow noted that mitigating the threat posed by IEDs required continuous training of Somali security forces and AMISOM personnel.

"The best weapon against IEDs is a well-trained soldier who practices correct drills, and maintains a conscious awareness of the environment," noted Maj Gen Owinow.

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