published: 06.02.2013, 15:04 | updated: 06.02.2013 15:07:47
Prague - The Czech government has approved the deployment of Czech troops within an EU mission in Mali to train the local military, but not to fight the Islamists who dominate the northern part of the country, Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake (LIDEM) told CTK today.
The parliament is yet to approve the step. The senior opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) have made it clear they may support the step if certain conditions are fulfilled.
The decision on the EU´s Mali training mission was made previously. French General Francois Lecointre, who will head the mission, would like to send the first men to Mali sometime in mid-February.
The mission should be in full swing by April.
Soldiers are to participate in cooperation with the Mali military command and in a quick reorganisation of the local units.
According to previous information, the Czech government is also considering arming a battalion of the Mali military.
It could provide mainly armament, such as small fire arms and ammunition.
The Czech Republic has sent several million crowns in humanitarian aid to Mali.
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