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EU military operation in the Central African Republic established

By European Council
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, February 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Council today established an EU military operation to contribute to a secure

environment in the Central African Republic, as authorised by the UN Security Council in

resolution 2134 (2014). Today's decision creates the legal basis for the operation entitled

EUFOR RCA and is another step towards its rapid deployment.

EUFOR RCA is to provide temporary support in achieving a safe and secure environment

in the Bangui area, with a view to handing over to African partners. The force will thereby

contribute to international efforts to protect the populations most at risk, creating the

conditions for providing humanitarian aid.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of

the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, said: "We have reacted swiftly to the serious

crisis in the Central African Republic. We are using all the tools at our disposal, from

humanitarian assistance to political support for the transition, to our long-term

development cooperation. 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. EUFOR RCA will deploy as soon as possible to back the remarkable

efforts of France and our African partners."

The Council also appointed Major-General Philippe Pontiès from France as EU Operation

Commander. Besides, it estimated the common costs of the operation at € 25.9 million for

a period of up to nine months comprising a three months preparatory phase and a mandate

of up to six months starting from the point of reaching full operational capability.

The operation headquarters will be in Larissa, Greece, while the force headquarters and the

troops will be located in Bangui, Central African Republic.

Preparations for the deployment are currently under way, following accelerated

procedures. The launch of operations will require a separate legal act.