Germany mulling military training mission in Tunisia

The move comes as German authorities believe 'ISIL terror is threatening all of North Africa'

Germany mulling military training mission in Tunisia

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany is considering sending troops to Tunisia to help train soldiers in the fight against the ISIL group, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

Bild am Sonntag said that representatives of the defence and foreign ministries would hold talks in Tunis on Thursday and Friday about how the German military could lend support in a training mission.

It said the engagement envisaged training Tunisian soldiers first and could eventually be extended to setting up a training camp in Tunisia for Libyan soldiers, run with other international partners.

"The ISIL terror is threatening all of North Africa," German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the newspaper.

She said it was thus crucial "to make every effort to support countries struggling with democracy such as Tunisia".

Von der Leyen told the newspaper that a training camp in Tunisia would be a contribution toward regional stability.

"And if its direct neighbour Libya manages to put in place a unity government one day, its security forces could also benefit from established training facilities in Tunisia," she said.  

A defence ministry spokesman told AFP he had no further details beyond the minister's remarks. The foreign ministry had no immediate comment.

German forces are currently engaged in the international alliance against the ISIL group, including by arming and training Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and flying reconnaissance missions over Syria with Tornado jets.

However the country's defence commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels warned in a report last month that the German military was overstretched and underfunded and had reached "the limit of its capacity for interventions".

Tunisia suffered two devastating attacks targeting its vital tourist sector last year, in the beach resort of Sousse and on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, that together claimed 60 lives. Both were claimed by ISIL. 

ISIL has also been gaining ground in Libya amid the unrest that has gripped the country since longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted in 2011.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Şubat 2016, 14:48