British-Irish troops arrive in Mali

Published Wednesday, 27 March 2013
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British and Irish troops have arrived in Mali, where they will join forces for the first time to train military units in the war-torn region.

British-Irish troops arrive in Mali
The troops arrived this week in the African country. (© Pacemaker)

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that 21 personnel from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment arrived in the Malian capital Bamako on Tuesday.

Six members of The Irish Defence Force arrived on the same aircraft.

They will be joined by troops from 45 Commando Royal Marines and 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, completing the 40-strong British training team.

"The Irish Defence Force is well versed in training and mentoring roles and it will be a privilege to command them," said Major Simon Holden, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, Commanding Officer of the Infantry Training team.

"We have conducted several weeks of pre-deployment training together at Ternhill Barracks to prepare for the tour. It is an historic occasion.

"As the Officer in command of the Infantry Training Team I will be responsible for orchestrating the training of Malian troops working alongside the French, Czech and Danish forces, as part of the EU mission to bring stability to the region."

The training mission will take place in Koulikoro, north east of Bamako, and is expected to continue for around 15 months.

The MoD said it forms part of international efforts to support French troops in helping to stabilise the African nation against the threat of Islamist rebels.

Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond MP, said: "Through this mission we will support the Malian government to counter the violent insurgency that has not only disrupted their country, but which also poses a clear threat to our national interests here in the UK.

"British support to the mission in Mali, including assistance with training, logistics and surveillance, highlights the impressive flexibility of our armed forces.

"British troops will not deploy in a combat role but, through training the Malian armed forces, we can assist in restoring order and denying terrorists a safe haven in the country."

© UTV News
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10 Comments
Davey in Lisburn wrote (607 days ago):
From previous experience the UK troops engage with the enemy. Irish troops have been there to clean up (pick up the rubbish)
Noel Cree in Lisburn wrote (607 days ago):
faugh ah ballagh Royal Irish have a safe tour
Rads in Belfast wrote (608 days ago):
What will sf say about this . the rep of ireland army being under command of the rir british army.good to see anywhy
john in Derry.Ireland wrote (608 days ago):
News the so called Unionists will hate. Ohh they get along!!! What can we do now.....
Susan in Ulster wrote (608 days ago):
Good luck to all and keep safe.x
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