The Organization of American States, OAS and the Demining Centre of Ecuador (CENDESMI), with financial support from Norway have launched a training workshop for the maintenance and repair of MINELAB F-3 metal detectors and polycarbonate visors used in the deactivation of mines found in some areas of the border between Ecuador and Peru.
The objective of the three-day workshop is to maintain the detectors and viewers, whose good condition is essential to the safety of personnel that work on the eradication of landmines that were buried during the war that took place between the two South American nations in 1995.
The maintenance of this equipment also allows the normal continuity of humanitarian demining operations on the site and extends the lifespan of the equipment.
The OAS, through its Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines, AICMA and in coordination with CENDESMI, will instruct six members of the General Demining Command and EOD, Explosive Ordnance Disposal team of the Army of Ecuador.
The training will be taught by a specialist of AICMA - Colombia, and will be held at Fort La Balbina, located in Sangolquí, Ecuador. At the end of the training, officers will receive a certification of MINELAB F-3 maintenance and repair, endorsed by the manufacturer.
The metal detectors are used by the Ecuadorian military in demining operations in the sector of the Cenepa River Basin on the common border of Ecuador and Peru, while polycarbonate visors are used in humanitarian demining efforts to protect the face and eyes.
OAS provides technical and logistical support on issues related to the comprehensive mine action available to its member states and continues to support the national program of Ecuador, as the Ecuadorian government takes charge of all activities related to the comprehensive mine action. Norway, a permanent observer to the OAS, has provided financial support for action against antipersonnel mines in the Americas since the Mine Action Program began in the early 90s.