Further details have emerged of the terrible behaviour of Libyan soldiers being trained at Bassingbourn barracks in Britain. Three of the soldiers have already been charged with sexually assaulting women in nearby Cambridge, with a further two charged with raping a man in a park in the city.
The Daily Mail now reports that the cadets had been behaviour poorly since they arrived in Britain, with British soldiers having to have leave cancelled in order to help military police keep order.
The cadets would regularly slip out of the barracks to visit nearby shops and bars. In one supermarket visit, cadets spent more than £1,000 on alcohol, while locals in nearby villages feared for their safety and regularly complained of drunkenness and thefts, particularly of bicycles.
Within the barracks, behaviour was also appalling, with one British army trainer being headbutted by a Libyan soldier, while another British soldier was intimidated by a gang of 20 cadets who angrily shouted at him after three of their colleagues were detained for going AWOL.
Some cadets also left after ‘going on strike’, while two others left after allegedly molesting cleaners within the barracks.
The British government was finally forced to intervene this week, following the sexual assault arrests. The training scheme as now been cancelled and all Libyan soldiers are due to be deported.
However, one of the cadets has blamed Britain for what happened, saying that the Libyans were not told about British laws. Omar Al-Mukhtar told the BBC: “They didn’t tell us the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong here.” He also alleged that when trainees had been allowed out on accompanied visits they were offered drugs, alcohol and prostitutes, although he did not say who offered them.
When he was asked if he had a message for the British government, he said: “Not to take things too seriously.”
Mr Al-Mukhtar added that some cadets had been unhappy with life at the Barracks, claiming that some people were out to ruin the reputation of the Libyan armed forces. He also alleged that cadets who were arrested had been treated “unlawfully”, saying that the Libyan soldiers “blame British authorities”.
The British government has confirmed that the Libyan soldiers are eligible to seek asylum before they are deported, with the Prime Minister’s spokesman adding: “Asylum rules apply to everyone. It will be the existing asylum rules that apply.”