Tuesday, 29 November 2016 09:20

Iraqi MoI, EU, UNMAS celebrate the conclusion of the first Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Defeat Course

Baghdad, 28 November 2016 - The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) held a certification ceremony for twelve Iraqi police officers who have successfully completed the first Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Defeat Course (Basic). This project was funded by the European Union (EU) and directly supports the development of the national security sector and local capacity to deal with explosive threats in recently retaken areas. The four-week training course was held at Salman Pak Police EOD training centre.

Major General Abdulkarim Al-Hatim, Head of Training Department at the Ministry of Interior, stated that “the liberation operation will be followed by a clearance operation targeting mines and explosives in order to assure the return of families to their homes. The IEDs clearance also aims to make the area safe to starting necessary projects related to reconstruction and development. …We call upon you to activate the projects of stabilization in the liberated areas, and to support the project of IDPs’ return which contributes to assuring the necessary life conditions in these areas.”

Mr. Charles Stuart, Deputy Chief of Mission at the EU Delegation in Iraq, said that "removing the risk of explosive hazards is an extremely difficult task. EU is commending your life-saving efforts and future role in addressing this threat within your communities. I was extremely pleased to learn that police officers from Anbar, Diyala and Salah Ah Din had received this training in this important area."

Pierre Lemelin, Senior Programme Manager, UNMAS Iraq, highlighted that "I am confident that the officers have received the skill sets and the knowledge necessary to enable them to respond to the internally displaced persons’ needs regarding explosive hazards”.

The EU is one of the largest donors to the UNMAS Iraq Programme, committing over EUR 6.2 million to UNMAS activities, saving lives, enabling humanitarian access and supporting stabilization activities in Iraq.

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