European military instructors have started training of Malian army soldiers 0304134

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Defence & Security News - Mali

 
 
Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 11:01 AM
 
European military instructors have started training of Malian army soldiers.
EU forces have started training Malian soldiers to quell an Islamist insurgency in the former French colony. 150 European instructors will train troops from Mali’s army at a base some 60 kilometres from the capital, Bamako.
     
EU forces have started training Malian soldiers to quell an Islamist insurgency in the former French colony. 150 European instructors will train troops from Mali’s army at a base some 60 kilometres from the capital, Bamako
Members of a Malian pro-government militia operating in government-controlled areas take part in a training session at their base in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako November 12, 2012.
     

France led an intervention in January to free the country’s north from Islamist fighters.

Mali’s foreign minister Tieman Coulibaly said the EU training would be key in allowing France to withdraw its troops from the country.

The first of 570 Malian troops were due to arrive in Koulikoro, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the capital Bamako, to train under European instructors as part of a wider effort to bring the army up to scratch as quickly as possible.

"Initially, the training will be very general. Afterwards, there will be a specialised training in telecommunications, artillery and engineering," Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe de Cussac, spokesman for the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), said.

Around 200 trainers will come from France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Ireland, de Cussac said.

Around half of the estimated 6,000 remaining Malian troops will train over the next year with the EUTM, which will run on a budget of 12.3 million euros ($15.8 million), with a first batch expected to be ready for combat in the north by early July.

Once trained, each of the four Mali battalions will have a unified command with an infantry-mobile core, backed by artillery and engineering, and a logistics component.

 

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