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UK boosts anti-terror capability at Entebbe Airport

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UK boosts anti-terror capability at Entebbe Airport

UK High Commissioner Alison Blackburn exchanges papers during the hand over of IED kits to CAA boss Dr. Wama Makuza

UK High Commissioner Alison Blackburn exchanges papers during the hand over of IED kits to CAA boss Dr. Wama Makuza

In a bid to improve Uganda’s preparedness against terrorism especially in the aviation industry, the government of the United Kingdom (UK) has donated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) training Kits to Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority.

While handing over IED kits and opening the security supervisors’ training workshop earlier this week in Entebbe, the British High Commissioner to Uganda Alison Blackburne, said the kits have been made by UK military experts, especially with aviation in mind and also include dummy devices that mirror recent threats against aviation including bombs concealed by a passenger in his/her belongings.

Blackburne said: “The IED kits will assist to broaden aviation security detection capability at airports across Uganda. Aviation security is a vital element in protecting our citizens from acts of terrorism.”

She added: “The IED kits will further assist in the vital tasks that CAA carry out. Would be terrorists have shown themselves to be creative, with bombs in shoes, underpants, sports drinks and in electronic devices like computers and phones.”

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia defines an IED as a bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action.

Keen on security

The State Minister for Transport, Steven Chebrot advised the aviation security personnel to be vigilant while on duty in order to maintain high standards of safety in aviation.

He said Uganda should not relax when it comes to security matters as there are very many criminals who always want to use security gaps to commit crimes, including terrorism.

“Once the terrorists identify your weak security links, they will always use them for their missions. You must be keen on security to protect the lives of many passengers on planes,” said Chebrot.

Tourism being among Uganda’s top foreign exchange earners, the tightening of security represents a  positive but also strategic intervention that helps to secure not only the aviation industry but also Uganda’s economy.

Strengthening security at Entebbe appears to be a timely intervention considering latest findings from Egypt which suggest that a Russian aircraft TWA Flight 800 that crashed in Sinai region was likely due to an explosive that was planted on the plane.

The donation is also timely as it will likely improve security preparations for the highly anticipated visit by Pope Francis to Uganda on November 27, 2015.

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority officials have reiterated their readiness to remain on high alert during and after the pontiff’s visit.

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