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Blair's mission on Africa

15,000-strong European Union force will intervene in conflicts. Tony Blair yesterday proposed a 15,000-strong European Union battle force, including British troops, dedicated to intervening in African conflicts and deployable within 10 days of a political instruction. He said the force should be ready next year. Mr Blair made the bold proposal just 24 hours after the Iraq Survey Group reported that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. The talk of battle plans underlined the fact that despite the controversy over Iraq, Mr Blair has not lost his fervour for human rights-driven military interventions. The proposal formed part of a wider package to tackle the crisis across Africa, including generous debt and aid proposals designed to take the continent out of its cycle of poverty, disease and instability. Group Profile

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