UK commits troops to train Egyptian military in counter-terrorism tactics

© Mariam Soliman
British troops will continue to train the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) to tackle terrorism and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said during a visit to Cairo.

Fallon said that in line with the 2015-2016 contribution, British military support and training would continue with the Ministry of Defence saying that the “UK and Egypt have already made great steps through initial train-the-trainer focused work” and that they remain “committed to enabling the EAF to replicate the training in Egypt.

In a statement Fallon lauded the “vital training” which he said had “helped Egyptian Armed Forces to defuse dangerous devices as they tackle the threat from our common enemy - terrorism.

We are now going to step up co-operation with our Egyptian allies to help them increase training capacity in their Armed Forces,” he said.

Fallon also took the time to highlight the arms trading relationship between the two countries.

Egypt is a key partner, and we will continue to work together to achieve security and stability in this region,” he said.

In May 2016 Egypt featured in a report by the NGO Amnesty International which condemned the widespread use of British troops to train the security forces of regimes which – like Egypt – feature on the UK’s own human rights watch lists.

These include countries the UK has recently attacked such as Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan; Gulf theocracies such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia; former colonies Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Sudan; and even global rivals such as China.

Burundi, Colombia, Somalia and war-torn Yemen also feature on watch lists.

A military spokesperson said at the time that all overseas training is carried out according to the UK government’s Overseas Security and Justice Assistance Guidance.

The fundamental right of all humans to fair treatment is intrinsic to all British Military training activity,” he said.