Britain still providing training to Zimbabwe’s security forces


Despite what appears to be sour relations between Britain and Zimbabwe, Britain is still training members of Zimbabwe’s security forces, according to Britain’s Minister of State for Defence (Armed Forces) Penny Mordaunt.

She told the British Parliament last week that Britain had permanent training teams in Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

It had also provided training to “either security or armed forces personnel” in several countries including Zimbabwe since January 2014.

Britain had a permanent training team in Zimbabwe under its British Military Advisory Team (BMAT) from independence in 1980 to 2000.

The team was tasked with setting up the Zimbabwe National Army from former Rhodesian army, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army.

BMAT only left Zimbabwe after the fast-track land reform in 2000.


Q& A:


Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth- To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) members and (b) reserve members of the armed forces are providing training to the (i) armed forces and (ii) security forces of other countries; and in which countries that training is being provided.

Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)-The Ministry of Defence has permanent training teams based overseas in Czech Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa. 57 military personnel are currently serving in these teams.

The teams deliver advice, capacity-building and training directly to the armed and security forces of the countries in which they are based, and of others on a regional basis.

470 personnel are in Afghanistan as part of the Resolute Support Mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces. Over 100 personnel are currently deployed on other enduring overseas tasks, including the EU Training Mission in Mali, the international efforts in Somalia and Iraq, and security sector assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

In addition there are some 200 personnel in Loan Service teams in seven countries: Brunei, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. These Loan Service personnel are embedded in a wide variety of training, educational and staff posts in the host nations' armed forces.

Data is not held centrally on which posts are filled by reservists. Exchange posts with NATO allies and others have been excluded.

A substantial amount of training is also provided by short-term training teams (STTTs) sent from the UK. An STTT may comprise a single instructor for a few days or up to 40 or 50 personnel for several weeks. STTTs are often called forward by the permanent overseas teams but are also arranged by defence attaches as part of our bilateral defence relationships. In 2014 over 1 000 military personnel deployed in such teams. Royal Navy vessels also undertake training tasks in the course of their deployments.

Countries or territories in which UK Armed Forces have provided training to either security or armed forces personnel since January 2014 are:

Algeria, Afghanistan, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burma, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cook Island (New Zealand), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Hungary, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Nieu (island near New Zealand), Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Yemen and Zimbabwe.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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