Brussels, Belgium - Belgium is demanding an enhanced security of the site where European instructors who will train Malian soldiers will be based before the country's soldiers can participate.
Belgian defence minister, Pieter de Crem, who on Tuesday visited the Koulikoro camp in Mali, told journalists that the site was well protected on one side facing the Niger river, but was completely open 'at the back'.
'Belgium will not participate in the Malian Army Training and Counselling Mission if security conditions are not improved,' he said.
The training camp of Koulikoro will host 450 European instructors and the site is to be protected by a 150-man military unit, including Belgians.
The training of Malian soldiers must in principle start in the first week of April.
The European training unit has a 15-month mandate to train two battalions of 2,600 Malian soldiers.