Forty Ugandan soldiers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) based in Arbiska, 30 km North-West of Mogadishu have completed a five-weeks training aimed at enhancing their capacity to counter the threat posed by the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Col. Jimmy Nabiyu Musoke, the Commander of Uganda’s Battle Group (BG) XXX, on Friday presided over the closing ceremony of the Route Clearance and Electronic Counter Measure course, in which the soldiers drawn from Battle Groups XXX and XXXI were awarded certificates.
Col. Musoke congratulated the soldiers upon the successful completion of the course and urged them to make the best use of the skills and knowledge newly acquired, to clear the Main Supply Routes (MSRs), and ensure the safety of troops and the local communities.
He hailed the instructors for conducting the training, which he noted is timely, due to challenges brought about by the technological advancements in asymmetric warfare.
“I commend you for partnering with us (AMISOM) in capacity building efforts” said Col Musoke, noting that the technological advancement in asymmetric warfare disrupts Lines of Communication (LoC) for troops in the field, and poses a threat to urban centres.
LoCs are mobility corridors used to move forces, equipment and supplies and thus the need to clear them of any obstacles and enemy activity that may hinder the maneuverability of troops and supplies including the free movement of persons.
IEDs are the preferred weapon of choice for the Al-Shabaab, who often plant them on Major Supply Routes, targeting AMISOM and government troops, but civilians often get hit.
IEDs constitute one of the most significant threats to AU peacekeepers, making the training extremely important, especially in efforts to defeat the IEDs.
It is expected that the soldiers will be able to use the knowledge and skills that they have acquired to conduct routine route clearance operations so as to sustain their lines of communication, thereby improve troop maneuverability and flow of supplies while at the same time, ensure free movement of goods and persons.
The head of the training team, Col (Rtd) Richard Laurens urged the trainees to use the knowledge and skills acquired to perform their duties effectively and efficiently, noting that capacity building remains key to combat and efforts to degrade the enemy.
Present at the function were; Forward Operating Base Commander (FOB) Lt. Col. Muhamud SSemakula; Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Alli Taban Fadmula and key Heads of Departments among others.