AU forces equipped to clear explosives in Jowhar
Twelve soldiers attached to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) bomb squad in Jowhar, HirShabelle State, have completed specialized training on countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). IEDs are locally manufactured explosives which have become the main weapon of choice for Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia. Conducted by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) over seven weeks, the training enhanced the capacity of the soldiers to deter IED threats in and around Jowhar town of Middle Shabelle region, which is under the responsibility of the Burundi National Defence Forces (BNDF). AMISOM Sector 5 Commander Brigadier General Telesphore Barandereka said the training was important in enhancing the skills of his troops to identify and detonate IEDs, which are a threat to lives and equipment, and hinder the delivery of essential services to communities in liberated areas. “IEDs are currently the weapon of choice for Al-Shabaab militants to target our personnel and equipment. They also target senior HirShabelle State officials as well as Somali security forces. IEDs also target civilians and their goods. With this training, we are better equipped to clear the IEDs for the protection of the people of this region,” Brig. General Barandereka said. UNMAS Operations Officer in Sector 5, Sayed Tanvir Zia Morshed urged the trainees to make good use of the skills they acquired to help reduce the threats posed by the IEDs in the sector. “I am very happy to say that the trainees have performed excellently. They were 12 students trained for seven weeks and all of them have achieved the required standard, so I am very pleased. As you know this IED specialized course is the highest technical course in the field of IED exposure,” Morshed said. AMISOM works closely and supports the Somalia National Army (SNA) in the fight against terrorism in Somalia. In Jowhar, HirShabelle State, AMISOM and SNA forces often conduct joint security patrols to clear main supply routes of IEDs and to secure population centers against armed groups.