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A total of 200 EU military instructors begin training some 2,500 Malian soldiers in a bid to get the crisis-torn country's army ready to maintain security after French troops withdraw.
"The objective is to allow the Malian army to acquire the combat capacity needed to face the internal threat while contributing to the stability of the entire region," said the Malian chief of staff, General Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele.
The training mission was approved by foreign ministers from the EU's 27 governments on January 16, during a special meeting hosted by the bloc's foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton.
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