EU military trainers arrive in Mali

2013-02-08 21:09
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - The first group of 70 EU military instructors, deployed to train Mali's deeply divided and underfunded army to take on Islamist rebels, arrived on Friday in the capital, a French officer said.

"We are here to enable the Malian army to hold all the nation's territory and so that Mali can have a good army at its disposal, prepared to engage," said Colonel Bruno Heluin, the commander of the first group of what will ultimately be 500 European trainers.

The arrival of the trainers in Bamako was overshadowed by a gunfight which erupted between feuding Malian soldiers, a sign of tensions left over after a March 2012 coup which has left the nation weakened as conflict rages in the north.

Several were reported injured when soldiers attacked a camp of elite Red Beret paratroopers loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, who had protested being absorbed into other units for the battle in the north.

Bertrand Soret of the EU in Mali said the 70 trainers, from Spain, Britain, Romania, Sweden, Finland and France were "forerunners of the mission coming to train and improve the chain of command in the Malian army”.

"Their mission is to set up the base which will house the 500 European Union instructors."

He said the mission's training was aimed at "restoring the armed forces' military capacity with the objective of allowing them to lead combat operations aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of the country”.

French General Francois Lecointre, who is leading the mission, explained there was "a real need to recreate the Malian army, which is in a state of advanced disrepair”.

"The soldiers are badly trained, badly paid and under-equipped", lacking arms, transport equipment and communications equipment, he said.

The 27 EU nations approved the training mission in December, and it was accelerated after the surprise intervention of France in its former colony on 11 January, to stop an advance north by the Islamists.

The mandate of the mission is 15 months, renewable, and 16 countries from the EU as well as Norway will be taking part.

Read more on:    eu  |  amadou toumani toure  |  france  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.