WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan24) – IKMAA—Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency—has long worked to clear the Kurdistan Region of mines. Its efforts originally focused on those left behind by the regime of Saddam Hussein and its eight-year long war with Iran.

However, the emergence of the so-called Islamic State raised another, even deadlier, source of the destructive devices, which IKMAA and its partners, including the US, are now addressing.

Solomon Black is the Program Manager for the State Department’s Conventional Weapons Destruction Programs in the Middle East, which is responsible for such demining activities. Last week, Kurdistan 24 spoke with Black.

“IKMAA has distinguished themselves as one of the leading mine action centers,” Black said. It has demonstrated a “level of burden-sharing” and the “will to take responsibility for explosive hazard contamination in their territory that many across the region are still trying to figure out,” he added.

“We applaud IKMAA” for their efforts, and “we look forward to working with them in the years to come to address both the new contamination from ISIS, as well as the legacy contamination” from the Saddam era, Black continued.

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