News / Europe

Cameron Says Britain Will Train Libyan Security Forces

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in Tripoli, Jan. 31, 2013
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in Tripoli, Jan. 31, 2013
Reuters
British Prime Minister David Cameron used a surprise visit to Tripoli on Thursday to pledge Britain's help in training Libya's security forces, part of broader European efforts to counter Islamic militancy in North Africa.
       
In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers approved the outline of a mission to help Libyan authorities tighten border security to combat arms-smuggling and stop militants crossing the border. The training and advisory mission is expected to involve about 70 civilian experts and to be launched by summer.
       
Concern over security in the vast tracts of the Sahara has grown after Islamic militants seized hostages earlier this month at Algeria's In Amenas gas plant. Up to 37 foreigners died after troops stormed the complex to end the hostage crisis, which saw the killing of 29 hostage-takers.
       
Cameron flew into Tripoli from Algiers, where he also pledged to cooperate on security and intelligence. In the Libyan capital he visited a police training academy and Martyrs' Square. He has called North Africa and the Sahel a "magnet for jihadists"' and warned of a "generational struggle'' against them.
       
However, he has shied away from a major military response and instead espoused empowering regional governments to take the lead in security and bolstering the rule of law and democratic institutions.
       
"There is no true freedom and no true democracy, without security and stability as well. We are committed to helping with that both here and also in your neighborhood,'' Cameron said at a news conference with Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.
       
"We've agreed a package of additional help from Britain to Libya - increasing the military training we are providing, increasing the police advisers ... We've also discussed how we can help build the institutional capacity of the new Libyan government,'' he added.
       
Cameron last visited Libya in 2011 along with then French President Nicolas Sarkozy after rebels ousted former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi with French, British and U.S. backing.
       
At the time he called Benghazi, the cradle of the uprising against Gaddafi, an "inspiration to the world''.
       
Since then, Libya's second city has been disrupted by violence and become a base for Islamist militant groups. Last September an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
       
Last week Britain urged its citizens to evacuate the city, citing a "specific, imminent" threat, irking Libyan officials keen to attract foreign money and expertise after decades of under-investment during Gaddafi's rule.
       
"Our security situation is good, we are recovering, things are getting better ... I would like to highlight that what was raised about Benghazi is just some propaganda, made by opponents to the Feb. 17 revolution,'' Zeidan said.
       
Cameron highlighted the two countries' shared interest in boosting security in Libya. He cited cooperation on investigations into the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing and the 1984 shooting of police officer Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London.
       
Cameron said police investigating the 1988 bombing of a PanAm flight over the Scottish town which killed 270 people had been granted permission to visit Libya.
       
"I am delighted that the Dumfries and Galloway police team will be able to visit your country to look further into the issues around the Lockerbie bombing,'' he said.
       
Cameron said Britain's Metropolitan police had traveled to Libya three times as part of investigations into Fletcher's murder, who was 25 when she was hit by a shot fired from the embassy during an anti-Gaddafi demonstration. Such trips would have been "unthinkable'' under the Gaddafi regime, he said.
       
"In all these cases what I want to achieve is justice and also the full uncovering of all the facts," Cameron said.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Straight Arrow
January 31, 2013 11:05 PM
Much like training the Zimbabwe Army?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid