SOMALIA: AMISOM military engineers sharpen skills to counter use of explosive devices

Published: March 26, 2022

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military engineers wrapped up a four-day training on Friday evening to counter the growing threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) widely used by al-Shabab terrorists.

The training which was attended by 20 military engineers from various AMISOM outposts and some staff officers with roles pertaining to countering the threat posed by IEDs, focused on building participants’ capacity to identify and dispose of IEDs and mitigate the threat in time.

“It is only by increasing our awareness, participation in and understanding of the IED threat that we will be able to mitigate the enemy’s tactics, techniques and procedures in order to better protect our soldiers and ultimately defeat the enemy,” AMISOM chief force engineer Saheed Sadiq said in a statement issued in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Sadiq said the evolving nature of the enemy’s tactics calls for constant re-evaluation of personnel skills in countering IEDs and updating them on new trends in the network so that they are able to operate efficiently and deliver on the mission mandate.

According to AMISOM, IEDs are the preferred weapon of choice for the al-Shabab, who often plant them on main supply routes, targeting AMISOM and government troops, but civilians often get hit.

It said the IEDs constitute one of the most significant threats to AU peacekeepers, making the training extremely important, especially in efforts to defeat the IEDs.

The training, which was organized by the AMISOM Training Cell and the United Kingdom Mission Support Team, called on participants to consistently ensure that every member on the counter-IED network while out in the field is aware of their specific role to minimize casualties due to IED attacks.

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