The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development – IGAD is conducting a threat assessment in the region to build enduring and sustainable solutions to deter incidents of improvised explosive devices – IEDs.
The IEDs are weapons of choice for terrorist organizations worldwide such as radio-controlled, vehicle-borne, suicide vehicle-borne, command-wire, victim-operated, magnetically-attached, and pressure-plate that poses a threat to security forces, civilians, and critical infrastructure.
They are frequently employed by guerrillas like the Al Shabaab, Daesh, and the Allied Democratic Forces – ADF militants, terrorists, and other non-state actors as a crude but effective weapon against a conventional military force.
Under its Security Sector Programme, the IGAD member state representatives concluded their two days’ regional technical committee meeting on the development of a regional strategy to prevent, counter and respond to the threat of IEDs.
Their regional meeting was concluded on Wednesday at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. It has been intended to provide a common analytical and operational picture, harmonize national policies, strategies, and legal frameworks within the IGAD region and African continent.
Abas Byakagaba, the Director Counter-Terrorism in the Uganda Police Force disclosed that the meeting also sought to promote cooperation between the member states through sharing intelligence for IED exploitation, network analysis, and disruption; mutual legal assistance, and joint operations.
With reference to the October 2021 suicide bomb blasts in Kampala that killed four people and injured 37 people, Byakagaba revealed that Uganda employed effective efforts to counter the violent extremists.
Speaking to URN, Commander Abebe Muluneh Beyene, the Director of the IGAD Security Sector Program says the integrated regional strategies being adopted against the IEDs will safeguard the Member States from being vulnerable to violent extremist groups.
Other dignitaries present at the meeting included Mohamed Hussein Ahmed – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan who doubles as Chairperson of IGAD; Ambassador Engineer Mahboub Maalim, the CEO of the Project and Lucy Daxbacher Ondoga, IGAD Head of Mission in Uganda.
Africa has suffered gravely from the scourge of IED use, with more than 1,200 incidents recorded across the continent between June 2018 and May 2019.
The African Union, Peace Support Operations Division, and the Defence and Security Division have embarked on a continental strategy development initiative to address the growing IED problem in Africa.
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