NAIROBI, Kenya, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Commission of the African Union (AU), in partnership with United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) and the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS), are convening an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) training from 21 October to 7 November 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya. The training, which is convened under the AU Mine Action and Explosive Management Program, brings together twenty three (23) Mine Action practitioners from selected AU Member States to undergo basic and intermediate EOD training.
On behalf of the AU, Ambassador Fred Ngoga-Gateretse, Acting Head of the Mission Analysis Cell of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), welcomed the participants and thanked the UNMAS and HPSS for providing the technical expertise and facilities for organizing the training. He also commended the strides taken by the respective countries in eradicating landmines and other explosive remnants of war as a key component to any post-conflict situation which, of necessity, needs consolidation of peace and security, as well as the undertaking of post-conflict reconstruction and development.
UNMAS representative, Mr. Nick Van Elsacker, stated that the training initiative is a milestone in AU’s continued commitment to supporting AU Member States in addressing the threat of landmines, Unexploded Ordnance and Improvised Explosive Devices on the African continent.
Speaking on behalf of the HPSS, Col Gitonga, the Commandant of the School, urged the participants to work hard and muster skills so as to be able to reduce the devastating humanitarian and socio-economic impact of mines.
The AU Commission remains committed to supporting Member States in their mine action activities, including in the development of national mine-action capacities and support for national programmes. Building capacity of Member States is particularly important considering the increasing threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The Commission will continue to work closely with its partners in supporting regional training centers to build the capacity of national mine action authorities.
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