Military mission in Central African Republic approved by EU
Newscast Media BRUSSELS—The EU has approved sending soldiers to the Central African Republic, whose role is to help restore security in the country, which has been gripped by sectarian violence and political instability since last year.
EU foreign ministers approved a military mission to the Central African Republic (CAR) during a meeting in Brussels on Monday. The number of soldiers could not be confirmed by initial reports, which estimated the EU would deploy between 500 and 1,000 troops to the region. It was not immediately clear which nations from the 28-member bloc would send troops.
Last month, France contributed 1,600 soldiers to a 4,000-strong African Union mission on the ground tasked with maintaining order in CAR. France had been urging its allies to provide aid since December when sectarian clashes linked to political instability in the country escalated and unleashed a humanitarian crisis. The proposed EU mission now awaits ratification by the United Nations Security
The EU Humanitarian Aid Commission also announced on Monday that CAR would receive roughly 678 million euros ($500 million) in humanitarian aid.
“Today’s meeting put an end to the Central African Republic being an aid orphan forever,” the humanitarian aid commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, said.
Unrest has continued despite the resignation of CAR interim President Michel Djotodia. The transitional leader agreed to step down in early January after coming under pressure from the international community for failing to take effective action to end the clashes.
Djotodia, CAR’s first Muslim president, rose to power last March with the help of the Islamist Seleka rebel group, which had led a coup against the government. By the fall, Djotodia attempted to ban the rebel faction. The country experienced renewed violence after Christian groups began carrying out retaliatory attacks against Seleka militants.
According to UN figures, nearly one million people have been displaced by the conflict. In the capital, Bangui, half of the population, some 350,000 people, has been displaced.
Source: Deutsche Welle