Friday

9th Dec 2016

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.

News in Brief

  1. Italian opposition presses for anti-euro referendum
  2. Danish MP wants warning shots fired to deter migrants
  3. Defected Turkish officers to remain in Greece
  4. Most child asylum seekers are adults, says Denmark
  5. No school for children of 'illegal' migrants, says Le Pen
  6. Ombudsman slams EU Commission on tobacco lobbying
  7. McDonald's moves fiscal HQ to UK following tax probe
  8. French ex-minister jailed for tax fraud

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHow to use Bioenergy Coming from Forests in a Sustainable Way ?
  2. Counter BalanceReport Reveals Corrupt but Legal Practices in Development Finance
  3. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  4. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  5. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  6. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  7. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  9. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  10. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  11. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  12. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First