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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid