British personnel regularly run courses for the Saudi Arabian national guard in “weapons, fieldcraft and general military skills training, as well as incident handling, bomb disposal, search, public order and sniper training
Bahrain’s army officers have continued receiving training in the UK even months after the ruling regime began a brutal crackdown against peaceful anti-government protesters.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has led to the disclosure that the British military continued training five Bahraini officers at Sandhurst, the elite military academy in Surrey, as recently as last month, daily The Independent reported.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has also been criticized for dispatching its army personnel to Saudi Arabia to train the Kingdom’s National Guard. The Saudi National Guard has been deployed in neighboring Bahrain to help crush the popular uprising in the tiny Persian Gulf island.
According to the Observer magazine, Separate FoI requests disclosed that up to 20 British teams are dispatched to Saudi Arabia each year to offer instruction in “weapons, field craft and general military skills training, as well as incident handling, bomb disposal, search, public order and sniper training”.
“Britain’s important role in training the Saudi Arabian National Guard in internal security over many years has enabled them to develop tactics to help suppress the popular uprising in Bahrain,” said Nicholas Gilby of the Campaign Against Arms Trade.
Moreover Nishma Doshi, the campaigner who submitted the FoI request said “It is astonishing we invade Libya claiming we’re defending protesters, while at the same time training the forces who are murdering protesters in Bahrain”.
Bahraini people staged a major uprising in February against the country’s royal family, which has been ruling the tiny Persian Gulf Island since it gained independence from Britain.