By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 10 January 2014:
Four hundred officers and non-commissioned army officers arrived in Italy ladt night to begin training . . .[restrict]as part of a number of agreements with foreign military forces to build-up the army and police. At the same time, the United States Army has confirmed that it will train between five to eight thousand Libyan troops by May in a 24-week training programme to bolster security.
The news agency LANA reported that the batch of 400 former revolutionary fighters had left Mitiga Airport for Italy. Colonel Masnour Al-Jiffal, the Associate Director for Recruitment and Military Reserves, was quoted as saying the infantry battalion was the second to be sent for training abroad, the first having been sent to Turkey. He added that the latest batch of soldiers would spend between three to four months in Italy.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said at press conference on Wednesday that the programme to build up the army and the police was one of the greatest success stories of his government. He said there were currently 400 trainees in Turkey, and mentioned that 400 new recruits would shortly head to Italy. As many as 3,000 recruits would be trained in Turkey and another 2,400 would go to Britain, he added.
The announcement of possibly a further 8,000 troops to be trained by the US military will come as welcomed news to the government as it struggles to grapple with seemingly endless security challenges. Speaking at a press conference at the US Pentagon, General David Rodriguez, Head of US Africa Command, told reporters that the US is planning a 24-week training program to help Libyans, as part of a broader international effort to strengthen security in the country and across the region.
The Libyans a due to be trained in Bulgaria. US law forbids Libyans being given military training in the US and US military personnel training Libyan in the US.