Home | News    Sunday 4 July 2010

MAG sets to hold explosive ordinance disposal training in Juba

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July 2, 2010 (JUBA) – A United Kingdom-based international organization called Mine Action Group (MAG), which is specialized in mine clearance operations, says it will hold first ever Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training to dozens of deminers across Southern Sudan and staff members from other partners in the regional capital of Juba.

A Mine Action Team in Sudan moves unexploded ordnance before transporting it to demolition site (photo MAG)In an e-mail message to Sudan Tribune, it stated that the training will cover techniques during training that will run from 5th to 30th July and will enable participants to qualify for an EOD Level 3 Certificate.

The training will draw participants from both the north and south of Sudan to take part in the course, directly contributing towards building the country’s national capacity to coordinate, implement and monitor mine action activities.

MAG Sudan Project Manager, Djadranka Gillesen, said "We’re delighted to host the first MAG EOD Level 3 Course and to be part of building a better future for Sudan where national authorities and national non-governmental organizations will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of mine action activities".

This comes ahead of plan to devolve coordination responsibilities to national mine action authorities by the United Nations Mine Action Office in June 2011.

Among the participants will be members of the military Joint Integrated Demining Units (JIDUs). Set up to promote peace and reconciliation as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, the JIDUs are comprised of soldiers from both the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). MAG is currently the only non-governmental organization in Sudan working with these joint units.

"With an upcoming referendum for potential secession due to take place in 2011, MAG is taking this opportunity to impart knowledge and skills to Sudanese north and south, thereby ensuring that no matter the outcome of next year’s historic referendum, national capacity will be in place to support mine action initiatives across Sudan," explained Djadranka Gillesen.

As well as the Sudanese participants, six MAG technicians already working for the organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Burundi and Lebanon will come to Juba to take part in the course - the first EOD Level 3 course ever organized by MAG globally, he added.

“I am very excited about this course and thanks to MAG for this opportunity,” said Mandela Moses, a local MAG Sudan deminer since 2006. "I hope I learn a lot and will be able to use my new skills to make my home a safer place,” he adds

The training is funded by a number of international organizations among which include the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development(AECID); Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration, US Department of State; Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State; UK Department for International Development (DFID / UKaid).

(ST)

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