By Seraj Essul and Aimen Eljali.
Tripoli, 8 November 2013:
Over 400 new border guard cadets yesterday celebrated completing their basic training and . . .[restrict]being integrated into the Libyan Army with an outstanding display of newly-acquired skills.
For two hours the young men, aged between 18 and 25, enthusiastically demonstrated martial arts skills, abseiling and even a hostage rescue. Several of the officers also broke breeze blocks over their heads.
The Chief of Staff for the border guards, Brigadier Abdul Khaliq al-Senussi, said the young officers would perform valuable roles in different border areas of Libya, including helping to combat smuggling and organised crime.
“There are two groups represented here today,” spokesperson for the Border Guards Colonel Ahmed Al-Musmari told the Libya Herald. “One has been training for four months, and the other eight months.” He added that they had completed their basic training and would now train in specialist areas.
The officers, he said, were from all over Libya and were the first batch of officers who have completed the training since the revolution. Libya just has one training centre at present but two more are planned, Musmari said, one in the east of the country and one in the south. Another 1,200 new officers are now about to start training.
The course was clearly intensive as one of the new officers said, with a laugh: “I feel as though I’ve just got out of prison.” He said he hoped some further training would be outside Libya, for the experience of international standards. He added that he felt as though he was contributing to protecting the country.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the General National Congress (GNC) and the government. Tunisian, Egyptian and Algerian diplomatic staff were also present as were representatives from the EU Border Mission in Libya (EUBAM). [/restrict]