Libyan armed forces to be trained in the UK

Image source, AFP
Image caption, Libyan armed forces will be brought to the UK in small groups for training at the end of the year

The British army will train up to 2,000 Libyan troops in the UK, the foreign secretary has announced.

William Hague said the Libyan troops would be brought to the UK in small groups later this year.

They will be given 10-week courses in basic infantry skills and leadership at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire.

The training of Libyan forces is part of a broader international effort to support Libya's democratic transition.

At last month's G8 summit in Northern Ireland, the prime minister announced that more than 7,000 members of the Libyan armed forces would be trained by some G8 nations.

Former RAF base

David Cameron said European nations had offered to train troops in order to help Libya's Prime Minister disarm and integrate the militias, and bring security to the country.

Mr Hague confirmed that the Libyan government will pay the costs of the training.

He added: "The government firmly believes that a stable, open and democratic Libya contributing to wider regional stability and security is in the UK's interest."

The training centre at Bassingbourn Barracks, a former RAF base, was closed in August last year.

The future of the barracks was subsequently being evaluated under the government's Army 2020 strategy.

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