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Saturday, 18 March 2017 10:04

18 Regional Mine Action Officials Complete IEDD Management Course

Sulaymaniyah, 16 March 2017 – Eighteen Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) officials successfully completed the Improvised Explosive Device Defeat (IEDD) Management Course. The course was funded by the Government of Japan to enhance regional capacity to respond to explosive hazards. So far, 33 IKMAA officials received training from UNMAS since Mar 2016.

The course was implemented at the Mine and UXO Impact Relief (MIR) training center at Mawat, 66km to the north of Sulaymaniyah. The specifically designed training programme included the identification of IED’s, component recognition, ground sign awareness, task management and use of specialist IEDD equipment. The programme included a wide range of practical scenario-based exercises designed to build confidence in the students before conducting live operations.

Mr. Obayd Ahmad, the General Director of technical affairs – IKMAA, highlighted the importance of this training as a form of mitigating the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices, which represent a new type of threat different from that of conventional landmines. He also considered future courses in this field to be a key to the enhancement of the capacities of Kurdistan Region of Iraq in responding to explosive hazards.

H.E. Mr. Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq, said in his statement that “it must be a daunting task for us all to consolidate peace and stability in the liberated areas after the liberation of Mosul including the expected liberation of Western side in the coming period.” He added that “however, we hope that the liberation of Mosul gives us, especially for Iraqi people, a golden opportunity to strive as one not only for its reconstruction but also for national reconciliation.”

Mr. Imad Abdul Baki, Deputy Programme Manager, UNMAS Iraq, said the work of UNMAS is necessary in the process of the return of the displaced. “UNMAS will continuously support national/regional authorities to assist with explosive hazard threat mitigation to enable civilians to return to retaken areas in Iraq”.