(STN-MUQDISHO):_Two UN agencies on Tuesday vowed to strengthen their collaboration to effectively counter the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to Somalia’s stability.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) noted that tackling the threat posed by IEDs was crucial to the implementation of the transition plan which will transfer responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali government from 2018 to 2021.
“I look forward to us working together to tackle and eliminate the threat posed by IEDs. We are happy to join forces with UNMAS,” said Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia.
The two UN officials said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu also promised to work closely with the Somali government to tackle the use of Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED), which has become al-Shabab’s weapons of choice in Mogadishu and other parts of the country.
Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai, new Head of UNMAS Somalia, reiterated UNMAS’ continued support to the AU mission and briefed Madeira on initiatives being undertaken to counter the use of IEDs.
“There is need for us to work together to develop a more comprehensive approach to defeat the threat,” said Sadozai who assumed office in July.
UNMAS is a section of the department of peacekeeping operations, formed in 1997, to serve as the UN focal point for mine action. It seeks to rid the world of the threat of landmines and unexploded ordinances.