EU readies military mission to CAR

2014-01-20 10:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Brussels - EU foreign ministers are expected on Monday to approve sending several hundred troops to Central African Republic to back up French and African soldiers trying to restore order after bloody communal clashes.

"Unless there is a last-minute surprise, the way is clear" for approval, a diplomatic source said, of a mission limited to 4-6 months and 400-600 soldiers who will take over security at Bangui airport to free up French troops.

For President Francois Hollande, under pressure at home, the decision may prove doubly welcome after he committed troops to France's former colony and then sought EU support.

"An EU deployment now [will] offer Paris both some immediate operational benefits - freeing up French troops - and political relief," said Richard Gowan of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

"It would at least show that the EU has not deserted France completely in Africa," Gowan said.

At a late December EU leaders summit, Hollande had pressed this point on his peers, that France needed their a gesture of solidarity even if they did not want to commit troops on the ground.

Another diplomat noted that getting the force together would be difficult since the CAR "is not on the radar of most European countries."

Britain, like Germany, has offered logistical support for the French operation but has made clear repeatedly it would not send troops.

Estonia makes first troop offer

So far, only the small Baltic nation of Estonia has offered troops, saying 55 could arrive in CAR in February to back up French efforts which had helped prevent a "humanitarian catastrophe."

Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Spain are the most likely to step up next, diplomatic sources said.

At least 1 600 French and 4 000 African troops are in CAR under a UN mandate, trying to end violence between Christian militias and ex-rebels who installed the country's first Muslim leader in a coup in March.

Although Michel Djotodia resigned earlier this month, violence has continued and on Thursday, the UN's humanitarian operations director warned the country risked descending into genocide.

The violence "has all the elements that we have seen elsewhere in places like Rwanda, Bosnia. The elements are there for a genocide, there is no question about that," director John Ging said.

"Atrocities are being committed on an ongoing basis, [and] fear is consuming the minds of an entire population," Ging said.

EU officials stressed however that the mission in CAR would not just be military, with the bloc providing significant amounts of humanitarian and other aid worth some €60m so far.

The CAR's transitional parliament was set on Monday to vote in a new interim leader, tasked with restoring peace.

Read more on:    eu  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.