Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq – March 12th, 2019- Senior Manager of United Nations Mine Action Service- Iraq (UNMAS) Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, visited the American University of Kurdistan for a lecture on “Explosive Hazard Management in Iraq – Challenges and Opportunities” at 12:00 pm in AUK’s auditorium.
Attended by the students and in the presence of AUK Provost Dr. Nazar Numan and AUK’s Director of Center for Peace and Human Security (CPHS) Dr. Paul Philippe, Mr. Lodhammar’s lecture highlighted the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) campaign in Iraq and the critical role it plays in stabilizing the country. Mr. Lodhammar presented case studies including explosive removal in Mosul, Al Shihabi Secondary School in Al Karma, Iron Bridge in Fallujah, and the electrical power lines providing electricity to Kirkuk. He also emphasized the role that women play in the activities of UNMAS, particularly in Risk Education for children.
Pehr Lodhammar is a former Swedish Army Officer and a prominent expert in the fields of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Explosives Hazard Management (EHM). Prior to joining UNMAS, he had held senior leadership positions at various international organizations; including Director of UNOPS in Kurdistan from 2007 to 2008.
“This was a very instructive lecture. The explosive removal situation in Iraq after ISIS is different than in many other post-conflict zones. Much work happens in urban environment, in the rubble, and the improvised explosive devices can look like anything and be anywhere. This is much more complicated than removing traditional land mines from a field.” stated Dr. Paul Phillipe, AUK’s Director of Center for Peace and Human Security.
Established in 1997, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is a service located within the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations that specializes in coordinating and implementing activities to limit the threat posed by mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) leads, coordinates and implements United Nations efforts to eliminate landmines and explosive hazards and to mitigate their impact on people’s lives.