Kenya and UK counter-IED training initiative has resumed at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Nairobi after five-month-long disruption due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The training platform seeks to equip the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) personnel with technical skills in handling IED as they restore sanity in Somalia.
In her address during the recommencement of training on August 24, 2020; British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot said the project eyes reduction of IED-related injuries and deaths for the soldiers.
The diplomat highlighted Kenya as the most affected country through IED attacks in the battles.
She said… “the sophisticated use of IEDs pose the greatest threat to AMISOM troops with Somalia recording the highest number of IED incidents (689) and casualties (1,575) of any country in Africa in 2019. Kenya is the 5th most-affected on the continent.”
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“Africa’s long-term stability matters to the UK, which is why we are bringing British defence, security and diplomacy expertise to long-term partnerships with African institutions at all levels, in support of our shared goal of a secure, healthy and peaceful Africa. Whilst the number of attacks has increased, this training means that there has been a reduction in casualties.”
According to the data from the British Embassy, 1,700 military and police officers drawn from 22 Troop Contributing Countries have so far been drilled in detecting and disarming IEDs. This yielded fruits translating into a five per cent increase in the detection of IEDs in Somalia within the period of 2018 to 2019. Beside this was the decrease in the number of AMISOM casualties affected by the IEDs by 11 per cent.
The training is part of the broader strategic partnership agreement that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Uhuru Kenyatta actualised in January 2020. The two countries agreed to work together in alleviating global terrorism, organised crime, corruption and violent extremism.