From the Director

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As we endeavor to make The Journal a forum of information and ideas for the conventional weapons destruction community, we look at the threat improvised explosive devices (IED) pose in countries around the world. Increasingly, humanitarian organizations are widening their scope to account for the prevalence of IEDs. The need for clear communication across humanitarian mine action and counter-IED (C-IED) operational lines is evident.

In this issue of The Journal, we feature the challenges that humanitarian organizations face when incorporating IEDs into their operational activities. Robert Keeley from Danish Demining Group (DDG) discusses the nuances of differentiating a landmine, a booby trap, and an IED and how overlaps between humanitarian mine action and C-IED can cause misunderstandings. Focusing on Somalia, Abigail Jones of the Danish Refugee Council explains the need to tailor risk education approaches for populations affected by IEDs, while Chris Loughran and Sean Sutton illustrate the work being done in the Middle East by MAG (Mines Advisory Group) through photos and express the need to distinguish between humanitarian and military involvement in conflict areas.

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of mine action in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we spotlight the accomplishments, lessons learned, and future challenges for the region. In his article, Ian Mansfield examines the transition process that gave the country’s government ownership of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre. In addition, Gregor Sančanin explores the sociocultural aspects of the region and the remaining work to be done.

Looking back, Roly Evans from GICHD remembers the United Kingdom’s coastal minefields during World War II and the techniques used by Royal Engineers to prioritize clearance and manage resources effectively. In addition, we highlight the Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative, a partnership between the public, private, and civil sector aimed at providing magnetic locators to the countries that need them most. In our Research and Development section, Milan Bajić, Tamara Ivelja, and Anna Brook write about the use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology and Ian McLean and Rebecca Sargisson present on the effects of weather on the detection abilities of giant African pouched rats.

After months of planning, the CISR team and Croatian Mine Action Centre implemented our third Regional Senior Managers Course in Biograd na Moru, Croatia, from March 20 to April 7. Moreover, our annual Post-Conflict Recovery Week featured Adnan Al Aboudi from Jordan’s Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities who spoke about his experience with campaigning for disability rights and Mona Abdeljawad from the Rights and Development Center in Jordan who spoke about the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities in the Middle East. Lastly, CISR will be presenting on The Journal at the 14th International Symposium “Mine Action 2017” in Croatia in April, and will be on hand to speak with potential contributors. We hope to see you there!

Ken Rutherford




Ken Rutherford
Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
MSC 4902