More Libyan soldiers start training in Europe


A second batch of up to 300 Libyan Army troops have arrived in Italy for specialised company level training as the international effort to rebuild the North African country’s security forces intensifies against the backdrop of rising insecurity and lawlessness inside the country.

The departure of the second group comes two weeks after the return of first 300 Libyan soldiers trained by the Turkish Army under an international programme which seeks to train up to 15 000 troops in and outside the country in the next few years.

Countries involved in the training programme include Italy, Turkey, Britain and United States which will conduct its training programmes at military bases in Bulgaria. Libyan media reports said the new batch of troops will undergo 10 weeks of basic military training at the headquarters of the Italian Army’s Bersaglieri 8th Regiment in the city of Persano.

In terms of an agreement between the two countries, Italy will train up to 2 000 Libyan troops by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, six Libyan Army officer cadets are set to leave the country shortly after being selected for leadership training at three British Army establishments. On arrival in the UK, they will be split into three pairs which will be trained separately at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, the Britannia Royal Naval College and the Cranwell Royal Air Force College.

The Libyan Herald quoted UK Charge de Affairs in Tripoli Andrew Allen as saying the training programme is part of his country’s commitment to the rebuilding of the Libyan security services which collapsed with the overthrow of the government of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.
“As part of this support, the UK Government is committing up to £62,5 million over the next three years, to support the Libyan Government in strengthening the capability, accountability and responsiveness of its security, justice and defence sectors,” Allen said.

The majority of the Libyan troops will undergo training at a British Army training camp in the city of Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire.