French soldiers training Swazis

MBABANE - French soldiers are training the Swaziland army in modern military technology in a bid to integrate the kingdom's troops with pan-African forces, the weekly Swazi News has reported.

MBABANE - French soldiers are training the Swaziland army in modern military technology in a bid to integrate the kingdom's troops with pan-African forces, the weekly Swazi News has reported.

French brigade leader Bruno Bourdoncle de Saint Salvy said the training was aimed at preparing the Swazi army for tours of duty with regional Southern African Development Community and African Union forces.

"We are here to equip the local army with knowledge," he was quoted as saying. "We have brought with us a noncommissioned brigade and we are sure that the knowledge to be shared during training will benefit the local army."

The 37-member French team, scheduled to be in Swaziland for 10 days, is part of the French Armed Forces in the Southern Area of the Indian Ocean (FAZSOI), and arrived in Swaziland on Thursday.

FAZSOI covers other African countries such as Tanzania, the Comoros, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius.

"FAZSOI is a multinational exercise and each African country must contribute to the African brigade. Your local army invited us... to train them," Salvy said. - Sapa-AFP

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