Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Requiem for a recorder

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"The pen is mightier than the sword"

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Russia targets McDonald's over tensions with West

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Liberian authorities admit 17 patients are missing

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing Foley execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

Africa

EU to send troops to train Somali soldiers

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-18

The European Union plans to send troops to train Somali security forces in Uganda next year, as the interim government in Mogadishu struggles to maintain control over the embattled country.

REUTERS - The European Union plans to send some 100 troops to Uganda next year to train Somali government forces who are fighting Islamist insurgents, European officials said on Tuesday.

The mission still needs final approval but could start in the first half of next year, and is likely to be led by Spain, which takes over the EU presidency for six months from January.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin said Paris intended to contribute 30 soldiers. Spain has also committed troops and Britain, Slovenia, Hungary and Greece may also contribute.

"We agreed today that the EU as a whole can participate ...  but we will take this decision in the next weeks when we have an operational plan," said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

"It can be done rather quickly."

The intention is to train up to 2,000 Somali troops, which will complement other training missions and bring the total number of better-trained Somali soldiers to 6,000.

Defence ministers also confirmed, as expected, an extension of the EU naval operation Atalanta, to tackle piracy off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2010.

Somalia has had no central government since 1991, despite governments pledging hundreds of millions of dollars to help it develop its security forces with the aim of combating piracy and restoring order after decades of fighting.

Since the start of 2007, conflict has killed around 19,000 civilians and uprooted 1.5 million Somalis from their homes. The government is now confined to a few small blocks of the capital, with an African Union force protecting critical sites.

As well as the growing cost of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, with Somali gangs pocketing millions of dollars in ransoms, the United States has concerns Somalia could become a haven for training militants allied to al Qaeda and other groups.

The EU-led training of Somali forces is expected to take place in Uganda, but France has offered Djibouti as an alternative if Uganda falls through.

"We clearly see that if we don’t help Somalia, then we could have the Atalanta operation for 20 or 30 years," France’s Morin told reporters referring to an EU-led naval campaign to patrol the waters off the coast of Somalia to prevent piracy.

Somali pirates are currently holding at least 13 vessels and more than 230 crew members hostage.

Date created : 2009-11-18

  • PIRACY

    Somali pirates demand 7 million dollars for British couple

    Read more

  • SOMALIA

    Deadly Mogadishu clashes erupt after insurgents fire on presidential plane

    Read more

COMMENT(S)