Spain to send security troops to Mali
George Mills · 26 Mar 2013, 08:49
Published: 26 Mar 2013 08:49 GMT+01:00
The soldiers will arrive in Mali on April 13, reported ABC newspaper on Tuesday.
They will be part of a European Union mission which will help Mali's government maintain control of its vast territory.
Mail is struggling to stop activities of Islamic fundamentalist groups including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) in the north of the country.
The Spanish troops will act as a security force at an EU training base in Koulikoro, about 60 kilometres from Mali's capital Bamako, according to Europa Press.
A further 15 Spanish soldiers will give Malian soldiers special operations training.
The security detail will be overseen by a lieutenant colonel, three deputies and 28 soldiers from Almeria's Viator Legion.
The EU's mission in Mali — known as the European Union Training Mission Mali, or EUTM for short — aims to rebuild Mali's under a civil authority.
The EU will consult on issues including control of power, logistical resources and respecting humanitarian rights.
Early in 2012, Islamists took over control over the north of Mali , terrorizing the inhabitants of the desert zone north of the River Niger.
The country experienced a military coup in March last year, with coup leader Amadou Sanogo citing the government's failure to control the north of the country as a motive for the overthrow.
In January this year, French forces moved into Mail and retook Malian territory.
The Maghreb and Sahel zones are of particular security interest to Spain as these constitute the southern border of the Mediterranean nation.