British military trainers sent to help Mali’s troops

The British Ministry of Defense said it sent a regiment to Mali for a six-month tour to support training operations for the nation’s military.

The Ministry of Defense sent soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Rifles to Mali to support a training mission led by the European Union.

“The Rifles will be deployed for six months and will draw upon experience of similar missions in Afghanistan, where they mentored and trained local forces two years ago,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement Monday.

The Defense Ministry said military personnel were accompanied by civilian trainers to train Malian forces on international humanitarian law.

Mali is struggling to ensure national unity following a 2012 coup. The post-coup interim government called for military support from former colonial power France to help fight al-Qaida and nomadic fighters who took control in northern Mali after the 2012 upheaval.

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