UNDP support police officer training on dealing with unexploded ordnance

Nov 25, 2014

A comprehensive 12-day training for police officers in the Gaza Province of Mozambique ended on Monday, November 24. The course is part of a government effort to establish a national capacity to manage the residual contamination from unexploded munitions of war (UXOs). It included training on identification of types of munitions, assessment of risks, disposal of explosive devices and basic first aid.

In accordance with the National Mine Action Plan, the UNDP mine action project is assisting this initiative with the support of international donors. For example, this recent course was generously supported by the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America.

“Police officers in Gaza are now better able to respond if they are alerted by the public about a possible explosive device,” said Alberto Augusto, Director of the National Demining Institute (IND) “These devices might be found in areas that were not thought to have landmines or explosive remnants of war, or they might emerge in demined areas after flooding or excavations. So this increased national capacity is a key part of the government’s commitment to a mine-free Mozambique.”

Also speaking at the event, Mr Hans Risser of UNDP, reiterated UN Mozambique´s commitment to this goal of a mine-free Mozambique as well as the aim of having a sustainable national capacity to respond to threats from explosive devices. He said that, with the support and commitment of the government and partners, “we can achieve this important goal and ensure a safer future for the citizens of Mozambique”.

As a signatory of the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Treaty, Mozambique is required to fulfill mine clearance obligations by the 31st of December, 2014. It remains possible that Mozambique will meet this goal, meaning it will have identified and cleared all suspected mined areas in the country at the end of this year. Clearing all known and suspected mined areas will be an extraordinary achievement as Mozambique was once considered one of the most heavily mine-contaminated countries in the world.

At the Maputo Review Conference for a Mine-Free World, held in Mozambique in July 2014, the progress the country has made was frequently cited as an example of the change that can be accomplished with government commitment and international support for demining.

For additional information please contact:

Hans Risser - hans.risser@undp.org

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