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Somalia to get EU training force to counter Islamist insurgents

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As rampant piracy continues to plague the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, and Islamic insurgents foment violence and instability inside the country, the European Union is hoping to bolster the failed state by providing it with military training.

The mission still needs approval, but as early as the first half of 2010, the EU could send 100 troops to Uganda to train some 2,000 Somali forces that are part of the weak UN-backed government in Somalia. The effort would raise the number of adequately trained troops in the lawless state to up to 6,000 and possibly enable it to better combat the pirates and insurgents that have hindered Somalia's growth for decades.

Spain is likely to lead the training mission, with France, Britain, Slovenia, Hungary, and Greece also sending troops, reports Reuters.

The mission is particularly significant for Spain, which just Tuesday saw the release of the Spanish ship the Alakrana, which was released along with its crew after a $3.5 million ransom was paid to Somali pirates, reports Al Jazeera.

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