Exclusive Video of Kenya's Bomb Squad at Risky Training

  • A bomb disposal expert escaping a detonation
    A bomb disposal expert escaping a detonation
    File
  • The United Kingdom (UK) and Kenya Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) training programme has returned to the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS) in Nairobi following a five-month disruption due to Covid-19.

    British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott visited the UK-supported C-IED Wing, based at the HPSS in the International Peace Support Training Centre, on Monday, August 24, to mark the recommencement of training. 

    Exclusive footage sent to Kenyans.co.ke showed bomb experts detonating IEDs and being taught how to search for explosives hidden in the soil, which have claimed many soldiers' lives.

    A bomb expert at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Embakasi, Nairobi
    A bomb expert at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Embakasi, Nairobi
    File

    It also showed different types of explosives used in war such as projectiles, grenades, rockets and landmines.

    The wing has strengthened their C-IED capability of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) personnel. 

    Since 2016, the British Peace Support Team (Africa) and KDF have trained more than 1,700 military and police personnel from 22 countries in detecting and disarming IEDs.

    The number of IEDs found and destroyed in Somalia increased by 5% from 2018 to 2019, with IED-related casualties to AMISOM personnel reducing by 11% over the same period.

    “The sophisticated use of IEDs pose the greatest threat to AMISOM troops with Somalia recording the highest number of IED incidents (689) and casualties (1,575) of any country in Africa in 2019. Kenya is the 5th most affected on the continent. 

    "Africa’s long-term stability matters to the UK, which is why we are bringing British defence, security and diplomacy expertise to long-term partnerships with African institutions at all levels, in support of our shared goal of a secure, healthy and peaceful Africa. Whilst the number of attacks has increased, this training means that there has been a reduction in casualties,” Marriott stated.

    In January 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed on a new, ambitious, strategic partnership that will further elevate the relationship between the UK and Kenya. 

    The strategic partnership will help Kenya to respond to some of the most pressing challenges, including maintaining security and stability by tackling global terrorism, violent extremism, organised crime and corruption.

    The C-IED Wing in the Kenya is a unique initiative on the African Continent, providing a solid foundation on which to build a competent and capable Regional Centre of Excellence where police and military personnel across Eastern and Southern Africa receive C-IED disposal training that helps to promote security and stability in Somalia.

    Since 2016, the UK and Kenya have co-delivered the training with the British Army’s Defence Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Munitions and Search Training Centre providing mentorship in capability development, management systems and validation. 

    The programme will transition to 100% African-led instructions by the end of 2020 and achieved a major milestone in January 2020 with the IED Search course led by KDF instructors for the first time.

    The UK recognises the support from its partners in the region including the US which, through the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM), will provide expert advisory support to the programme. 

    The C-IED Wing also piloted the African Union-approved, and AFRICOM-funded, C-IED doctrine and curriculum developed by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which aims to provide a standardised training curriculum for use in the region and the wider African Continent. 

    Germany has also allocated Ksh230.2 million for the development of a new C-IED Wing in the HPSS, which will significantly enhance the infrastructure available to deliver training.

    The C-IED Wing, at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Nairobi, is supported by the UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

    Watch the video