South African government trained in identification of bioweapons, other WMDs

A workshop on identifying potential chemical, biological and nuclear weapons has been completed by South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The first ever bilateral Weapons of Mass Destruction Commodity Identification Training instructor workshop, held in pretoria, South Africa, included NNSA and a multi-National Laboratory training team, the South African Revenue Service and the South African Department of Energy.

Global practices to aid front line inspectors in identifying weapons of mass destruction and WMD-related goods across international boarders were the target of the workshop, which aimed to make WMD and related goods recognizable to allow officials to stop and respond to suspicious transfers.

The workshop was jointly customized with the South African government to allow requirements of South Africa's future trainers and curriculum developers to implement lessons learned from the program's trainers' experiences into South Africa's own WMD identification programs. Those trained will now themselves utilize the lessons learned to train others in proper detection techniques.

The NNSA has collaborated with more than 60 countries in similar programs to strengthen implementation of WMD-related export controls. More than 12,000 customs and export control officials have been trained by the program since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.