EU agrees to launch military operation in Central African Republic
The Council of the European Union have announced the immediate launch of a military operation in the Central African Republic to help “achieve a safe and a secure environment” amid the escalating crisis, said the council’s order.
European Union Force RCA, led by the French Major-General Philippe Ponties, will compromise up to 1,000 troops. They are to provide “temporary support in achieving a safe and secure environment in the area, with a view to handing over to a UN peacekeeping operation or to African partners.”
The HQ and the troops will be located in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic and its largest city. The operational center will be located in Larissa, Greece.
The troops are to be deployed rapidly to ensure “the immediate effect” of the operation.
The mission is tasked with “protecting the populations most at risk and to the creation of the conditions for providing humanitarian aid.”
The costs were estimated by the EU at €25.9 million for the preparatory phase a mandate of up to six months starting from the point of reaching full operational capability.
The move has been authorized by the UN Security Council in resolution 2134 (2014).
“The launch of this operation demonstrates the EU’s determination to take full part in international efforts to restore stability and security in Bangui and right across the Central African Republic,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton.
“We have reacted swiftly to the serious crisis in the Central African Republic. We are using all the tools at our disposal,” Ashton said earlier. “But the absolute priority is to protect the civilian population from any further violence, to ensure that the people of the Central African Republic can live without fear and start rebuilding their country, and to make sure that humanitarian aid can be provided.”
The Central African Republic has witnessed increasing sectarian violence since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power a year ago. They have been perpetrating abuses on the majority Christian population that have been retaliating with attacks. The violence led to thousands of deaths and has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
we have been tracking this build up and have so for over 6 months..now its a fully sanctioned UN operation..i wonder who will coordinate the mission..the french perhaps? when will the mission be finished? how long will the troops remain in the country?