Thursday, 25 May 2017 16:01

Ministry of Interior, European Union and UNMAS celebrate the conclusion of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat Course

Baghdad, 25 May 2017 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the European Union (EU) celebrated the completion of the ‘Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat Course’ which took place at the Ministry of Interior Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Training Center in Salman Pak. The course was funded through a generous contribution from the EU.

14 Iraqi police officers have successfully completed a 20-day course combining technical and practical EOD trainings to strengthen their skills in practical identification of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and IEDs, safe approach and searching techniques. All in response to the complex explosive threat in Iraq.

The stabilization of Iraq requires the safe return of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to their communities to reestablish a normal life with their families. The ongoing fight for the liberation of Iraq from Da'esh occupation has left large areas highly contaminated with ERW. In response, the Iraqi Police force requires trained personnel ready to respond to the situation and to facilitate safe return of civilians.

UNMAS Officer in Charge Pehr Lodhammar stated “UNMAS is supporting stabilization efforts and also capacity enhancement within this area. This recently completed training at the EOD training center in Salman Pak is part of this important support”

‘The training courses UNMAS delivers in coordination with the European Union are of a great importance. The courses are delivering operators to perform the very important task of clearing explosive hazards and facilitate the safe return of IDP’s to their homes.” clarified Maj. Gen. Albdul-Kareem Hatim Head of Training Department, Ministry of Interior.

The EU recognizes the importance to enhance the capacity of national security services, as well as the requirement for local capability to address the threat from explosive hazards.

Sara Corscadden, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. at the EU Delegation in Iraq said "The EU commends these officers. Removing the risk of explosive hazards is an extremely difficult task. These police officers efforts will be a life-saving part of addressing this threat within your communities. "

Since 2012, the MoI EOD training center in Salman Pak has delivered 237 Risk Awareness, EOD and IEDD courses. In this regard, Col. Mustafa Saleh Deputy Training Center Commander expressed his gratitude to the international community for “helping us to fight and eradicate terrorism, and to help us reconstruct our country and the liberated areas.”

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