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Germany pumps in Sh300m for anti-explosives training centre

NATIONAL
By Pkemoi Ng’enoh | October 7th 2021

 

The wreck of a military tank that ran into an IED in Baure area of Lamu on May 31, 2017 [Courtesy]

The Kenya Defence Forces has received Sh300 million from Germany for the construction of a modern centre, which is expected to thwart the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  This was revealed during the laying of the centre’s cornerstone at the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS) Campus in Embakasi, where the complex is expected to be completed in the next 11 months.

The Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) wing is aimed at expanding the training of both military forces and civilian personnel on how to detect and counter the explosives in the battle fields, as well as combating violent extremism.

“Germany is supporting the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) and the HPSS for good reasons. We acknowledge the great work that these institutions have made in the last 20 years especially the move towards a regional education and training centre for soldiers, police and civilian from not only East Africa but from the whole continent,” said German Deputy Ambassador Thomas Wimmer.

Mr Wimmer said that IEDs are a threat not only to the soldiers but also police officers and civilians, and focus must be on the fight against them during every mission. 

“We are proud to sponsor 12 buildings here in Embakasi. We are investing Sh300 million in the first step of the project. The new design gives HPSS and IPSTC the opportunity and freedom to host courses and events,” he said.

IPSTC Director Brigadier Joyce Sitienie said that since the humanitarian peace school was elevated in 2019, it had progressed to offer tactical training on IEDs and other key training activities.

“The Counter-IED training is currently run through the new wing whose courses are dedicated towards enhancing operational capacity for peace-keeping through training, education and research for the benefit of military police and civilian personnel,” she said.

She said HTSS was identified as the best suited location for the establishment of the Counter-IED wing in 2106, and received approval from the Chief of the Defense Forces.

National and regional security agencies, particularly those operating in Somalia under the African Union Mission to Somalia, have benefited from training at the centre.

Francis Mutie, who spoke on behalf of Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, said the investment by the Germany government was proof of the European country’s commitment to empower the regional security sectors to fight violence extremism.

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