EU states agree on military training mission to Mali

January 17, 2013 19:26

BRUSSELS - European Union states will send more than 200 military personnel to train Mali government forces in the fight against Islamist rebels.

The training mission has been under discussion for weeks but became more urgent after the al Qaida-linked rebels pushed beyond their stronghold in northern Mali to threaten the capital Bamako, leading France to intervene last week.

EU governments intend to train the Malian army - wracked by political divisions and a series of defeats to the rebels - but have no plans to broaden the mission to a combat role.

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