AU calls for concerted efforts to counter the use of explosive devices in Somalia

A security guard is seen at the scene of a large explosion near a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia, December 28, 2019. A source at a hospital said the death toll has risen to at least 76 in what would have been a car bombing. The blast rocked an area near the junction called Ex-Control Afgoye, in a southwestern suburb of the capital Mogadishu. EPA/SAID YUSUF WARSAME

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders and local communities to counter the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

ATMIS Force Commander Diomede Ndegeya said the threat posed by IEDs requires the mission and its partners to come up with innovative counter-IED measures.
“Mitigation of the threat from IEDs will require military actors engaging Somali authorities and working with communities to strengthen governance and support stabilization efforts,” he said in a statement released late Thursday. of a three-day conference in Mogadishu. , the capital of Somalia.

The conference, which was attended by senior officials from ATMIS, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and key stakeholders, took stock of current counter-IED measures to develop a overall IED threat mitigation strategy.

Ndegeya said there was a need to assess the conduct of mission activities and operations, with a view to finding solutions to the challenge posed by explosive devices.

He said that despite efforts by UNMAS to build the mission’s counter-IED capability through training, mentorship and equipment support, IEDs continue to pose a significant threat.

“Our ability to find solutions and thereby improve our counter-IED capability is critical to advancing the mission’s mandate,” Ndegeya said.

The conference brought together the Somali Security Forces, the European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia), the UK Mission Support Team (UK-MST) at ATMIS and other partners.

Head of the UNMAS Program Unit, Simon Porter, called for the rapid implementation of the recommendations and plans made at the conference to strengthen the implementation of the mission’s mandate, given the timeframes tight constraints set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2628 regarding the transition. period in Somalia.

UNMAS Mine Action Program Chief Jean Guy Lavoie noted that the conference was an ideal opportunity for participants to come up with innovative solutions to the threat posed by IEDs in Somalia.

“It’s about doing more, doing better, being more efficient, working better together, and also delivering on our new mandate,” Lavoie said.

Some 501 civilians were killed or injured in Somalia in 2020 from improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war while the death toll rose to 669 casualties in 2021, according to the UN. Final article

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