Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, said effective reduction of the threat caused by IEDs in Somalia depends on continued investment in modern equipments and additional training of security officers.

“In reducing IED threats, education, training, good reporting and exchange of information, degrading the network of the terrorists and investment in equipment to defeat the terrorists are required,” Madeira told a three-day forum on countering IEDs in Mogadishu late Monday.

According to a statement from the UN Mission in Somalia, Madeira said extra effort must be made by both the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and development partners to address the challenge posed by the devices which have become the weapon choice for the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

The AU envoy’s remarks came amid increased terror attacks from Islamist militants who have been targeting government and AU bases including social places.

Last month, the insurgents stormed a military camp manned by Kenyan soldiers and killed at least 21 troops and wounded 44 others.
Madeira noted that the poor state of main supply routes in south-central Somalia had provided conditions for Al-Shabaab to continue laying ambushes and using IEDs against AMISOM convoys and Somali national security forces.

Hubert Price, Head of United Nations Office in Somalia (UNSOS), said ensuring main supply routes are safe from IEDs threat would reduce the cost of transportation of goods and services, delivery of humanitarian relief and improve governance.

“It is much less expensive to move goods and services by road than to move things by air. It is in everyone’s interest to make sure that the roads are clear whether it is for humanitarian relief,” Price said.

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