African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has concluded a ten-day training course on countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for the South West state police officers.
The training, held in the administrative capital, Baidoa, focused on prevention and detection of IEDs which has become the preferred weapon of choice for Al-Shabaab and other militant groups in Somalia.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, Tresphord Kasale, the AMISOM Police Coordinator for South West state said the training was aimed at equipping the Somali police with vital skills to detect explosives planted by terrorists.
“We have just finished the course on IED and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) for 15 participants drawn from Somali police force. The purpose of this course was to create awareness (among) the officers so that they are able to identify IEDs and be able to call upon experts to come and defuse them,” Kasale said.
The AMISOM Police Coordinator said the training was also aimed at creating awareness among the general public on the dangers of explosives and how to identify them.
He urged the public to inform security officers whenever they detect or identify an IED, for safe handling and detonation, to prevent loss of life and destruction of property.
AMISOM Inspector of Police, Sahr Emmanuel Kobai-Aruna, noted that the training was meant to enhance the capacity of the South West Police Force, adding that the officers were taken through a number of topics on safety and security.
“This is part of AMISOM’s mandate to capacitate Somali Police Force and we taught them some components of IED/EOD; the types EOD/IED and other management course modules. We even taught them first aid at crime scene and casualty awareness assessment,” said Mr. Kobai-Aruna.
Ms. Farhiya Ahmed Mohamed, one of the trainees, described the course as timely, adding that it will help them discharge their duties effectively.
“Today, we have concluded a course on IED/EOD organized by AMISOM and we were awarded certificates. We were taught many things that will be useful to our country, for example, how to detect where a landmine has been planted. We also learnt how to administer first aid to victims and how to rush the victim to hospital for treatment,” Ms. Farhiya stated.
AMISOM has played a crucial role in establishing the South West State Police Force, by training 600 police officers, who have played a major role in improving security in the region. In addition, another 600 police officers in Jubbaland have also been trained and plans are underway to recruit and train more officers in HirShabelle state next year.