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Plans for German troops to help train Somali forces

There are plans for German troops to take part in the EU training mission in Somalia, a German magazine has reported. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has said Bundeswehr troops would become more involved in Africa.

According to the report, Germany's federal armed forces, the Bundeswehr, is to discuss plans for German soldiers to join in the EU training mission in Somalia.

Spiegel Online says an as-yet unspecified number of troops would join the European Union military mission (EUTM Somalia), which contributes to the training of Somali National Security Forces.

A German Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed the report in principle but added that a political mandate was necessary from the Federal Parliament, the Bundestag, before the number of troops could be determined. The report indicated troops could be on the ground by April.

Since 2010,

EUTM Somalia has contributed to the training

of approximately 3,600 Somali soldiers. Training has been provided in Uganda, due to the political and security situation in Somalia, in close collaboration with the Uganda People's Defence Forces.

German troops have taken part in previous EUTM training programs for Somali troops in Uganda.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has said that German soldiers would become more involved in Africa in the future. She made her first,

official visit to Africa

last week, with stops in Senegal and Mali.

jm/jr (Reuters, dpa)

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