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Volume 559: debated on Tuesday 5 March 2013

12. What discussions he has had with the Governments of Mali and France on protection of British civilian and military personnel in Mali. (145885)

Force protection for the small UK military team supporting the C-17 operation in Bamako is being provided by the French as part of the wider Mali operation. Protection for the EU training mission, to which the UK has offered both military and civilian personnel, is being provided by French and Czech military personnel. We do not envisage UK personnel fulfilling a force protection role.

I thank the Minister for his answer. What lessons have been learnt from the EU mission in Somalia, which was relatively successful in keeping terrorists out of the security services, as opposed to a rather less successful exercise in Afghanistan in which many allied servicemen lost their lives as a result of terrorists entering the security services?

The hon. Gentleman is correct to say that we learn lessons from EU trading missions where they are taking place. Lessons have been learnt from Somalia. However, there are also differences, one of which is that we are going to infuse into the EU trading mission to Mali some civilian trainers who will focus on the Foreign Secretary’s prevention of sexual violence in conflict initiative to make sure that the Malian army understands the importance of that as well as the importance of humanitarian law and human rights.