A symposium to review threats posed by IEDs ends in Mogadishu

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Mogadishu – A symposium to review threats posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) has ended in Mogadishu, with a call to Somalia’s partners to support interventions aimed at tackling the widespread use of explosives in Somalia.

The symposium discussed mitigating measures, among them the effective disruption of the IED supply chain.

“We must also deal with the chain link effectively, with those implementing them. Those who carry, those who plant and those who trigger them,” Mr. Simon Mulongo, the Deputy Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (DSRCC), for Somalia challenged participants, during the official closing of the symposium in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

The DSRCC also stressed the need for effective development and enhancement of intelligence collecting capabilities by the AU and Somali security forces, as an effective counter-measure to the IED problem.

“We can only handover responsibility to a force (SNA) that has capacity to operate like we are, if not better. And so, as we train the AMISOM forces, we must in equal or perhaps higher measure train the national forces,” he noted.

Representatives from the AU Mission in Somalia, the Somali security forces, the UN and the British forces attended the three-day symposium, which discussed the increasing threats and dangers posed by IEDs on civilians and security forces.

“You have to take every step necessary to popularize the knowledge and skills you have acquired in this workshop, which means we must have a critical mass of those who have been skilled and tooled, in issues of explosives of this nature and that means we must have a follow up mechanism, to enhance the skills transfer from these few to the greater numbers who go lower, so that in every battalion, we have a certain minimum number,” Mr. Mulongo emphasized.

Recommendations from the symposium will be sent to the African Union’s Peace Support Operations Division for action.

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