British soldiers training Mali troops
2 May 2013 Last updated at 09:58 BST
A small group of British and Irish soldiers has joined a European mission to train local troops in Mali.
Thirty one soldiers from the Royal Marines and 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment are training an initial group of 800 Mali troops, of mixed ability and experience.
The project follows the uprising by Islamist rebels in the country, during which many demoralised Mali soldiers fled.
Alex Duval Smith reports.