17 January 2020, Entebbe-Uganda - The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP), with support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) administered by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR program conducted a three days regional Training of Trainers (ToT) on “Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Safety and Security for IGAD Member States” held on 15-17 January 2020 in Entebbe, Uganda.

The threat posed by the proliferation of CBRN as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) emerged as a very real and serious danger to global peace and security. There is ample evidence that non-state actors, in particular terrorist organizations, actively seek out these deadly weapons. Certainty, wherever terrorist organizations try to acquire or use WMD, the consequences of such an attack would be horrific and global. As a must, it is of the utmost importance to keep these deadly weapons and their precursor materials beyond the reach of non-state actors. The ongoing technology development has accelerated manufacturing of conventional weapons and on the other hand might make easy access to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; particularly with the existing terrorist groups in IGAD region; which constitutes a real security threat to the globe, continent and IGAD region as well.  The development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, transfer and use of chemical and biological weapons have long been prohibited under international law. Though, a recent growing danger could be an easy know-how manufacturing of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, which might pose another emerging threat to regional security.  

This event is the first level training from the general structural three-level process (first-level, middle-level, and advanced- level) on how to teach Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Safety and Security with main goal of enhancing institutional capacities of IGAD Member States to address CBRN, specifically through potential trainers on chemical and biological safety & security. The specific objectives of this training of trainers’ workshop was to give new trainers the background knowledge, skills and practical experience to provide training and technical assistance, to build and strengthen the capacity of the potential Trainers/instructors on the best ways to deliver training materials, and to discuss some possible security threats of CBRN Weapons, with providing general guidelines that IGAD MSs may draw upon on a technical basis in order to enhance their preparedness to protect their populations against CBRN risks.

The training brought together 25 technical security experts with CBRN scientists, security, and medical personnel that have the essential knowledge and skills for trainers who would be able to deliver this respective training to other relevant trainees at the national and regional level.

Regional experts with vast experience on the subject matter facilitated the sessions through interactive powerpoint presentations, group works, reflection on experience, small group discussion, brainstorming session and demonstrations with four stages approach.  The participants were divided into 4 groups: C, B, R dealing with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear, respectively for a more focused discussion.

Participants at the end appreciated the content, methodology and approach of the training and expressed their readiness to be able trainers in their respective fields.   The Training of Trainers was concluded whereby participants were awarded with certificates recognizing their participation.

The next phases of this project will continue with the mid-level and advanced-level training on CBRN Safety and Security will be conducted in the near future subsequently.