Friday

28th Apr 2017

EU countries provisionally agree African mission

  • Refugees at Bangui airport: The EU agreement is a political victory for France's Hollande (Photo: UNHCR Photo Download)

EU countries have provisionally agreed to send troops to Bangui airport to protect civilians and distribute aid.

An EU source told EUobserver that member states' ambassadors on the Political and Security Committee "unanimously" endorsed the proposal at a meeting in Brussels on Friday (10 January).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The final decision is to be taken by foreign ministers on 20 January.

Details on the composition and mandate of the "battalion"-sized force will be worked out in the next few weeks.

Another EU diplomat told this website the ambassadors voiced "overwhelming support" for the need to intervene in the "awful" sectarian conflict and to "show solidarity" with France, the former colonial power in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has already deployed troops under a UN Security Council mandate.

Some 100,000 refugees are currently taking shelter at Bangui airport under French protection.

The initial proposals included an alternative option - to send the EU force to patrol roads from CAR to neighbouring Cameroon.

But French President Francois Hollande voiced preference for the airport mission at the last EU summit in December.

A third EU contact said the airport operation is considered to be "safer" and "more easy to execute successfully" than setting up roving patrols on the Cameroon access points.

The conflict erupted in 2012, but escalated last year when rebels entered the capital.

Christian-Muslim clashes are said to have claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced almost 1 million people in the past few months alone.

CAR is a mineral-rich state, which hosts uranium mining investments by French firm Areva.

Mob storms Macedonian parliament

A nationalist mob violently stormed parliament in Macedonia on Thursday, amid EU concern on police conduct during the attack.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  2. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  3. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  4. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  6. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  7. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  8. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  9. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  10. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  11. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?