JAPAN CONTRIBUTES 1 MILLION DOLLARS TO SUPPORT SOMALIA IN ITS FIGHT AGAINST EXPLOSIVE THREATS
Mogadishu, 1 April 2014 – The Government of Japan has contributed US $ 1,000,000 to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action to allow UNMAS to deliver continued support to Somalia in its fight against explosive threats.
With the generous support of the People of Japan since 2010, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been able to provide essential services in support of stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Somalia. These activities have included: emergency training and awareness for affected communities to warn against the dangers of explosive remnants of war (ERW), clearance and disposal of dangerous stockpiles of ERW, ammunition dumps and abandoned weapons; as well as training and mentorship of the Somali Police Force (SPF).
As the Somali Federal Government completed its transition process in August 2012, UNMAS began to develop a national capacity, in collaboration with the Police Commissioner, to address the explosive threat in Mogadishu and, more recently, in the regions of Somalia including Baidoa and Beletweyne. This nascent capacity within the Somali Police Force has been trained and mentored over the past 18 months and now acts as “first responder” on all explosive management callouts, which unfortunately remain an all too common occurrence throughout Somalia.
The continued support of the people of Japan to UNMAS-Somalia will ensure the continuity of this capacity and the provision of additional mentoring and training to the SPF Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Component in order to continue to effectively address the explosive threat.
Col. Abdikarim Hussein Mo’alim, Direct of the SPF EOD Unit, welcomed the Japanese Government’s support to the Somali Police Force: “The SPF is extremely happy to be receiving these funds from the Government of Japan. We would like to thank the people of Japan for there continues support to Somalia and especially the Somali Police Force. The Japan funding is imperative to the work of EOD Unit, of the Somali Police Force in the areas of training, equipment, and mentoring and enables the police to provide lifesaving operations across Somalia”.
In 2013, UNMAS-Somalia destroyed more than 24,000 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and anti-personnel mines. More than half a million Somalis have received lifesaving awareness and safety information and since 2008 UNMAS has trained 1,138 persons in Explosive Ordnance Clearance. This has included the Somali Police Force, African Union soldiers and civilians.
UNMAS is the United Nations focal point for mine action. It currently supports programmes in the Abyei area (Sudan/South Sudan), Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Darfur Sudan, Syria and Western Sahara (MINURSO).