Brussels, 1 April 2014 7672/14 (OR. en) PRESSE 149
The Council today launched 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).
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 a UN peacekeeping operation or to African partners. The force will thereby contribute both to international efforts to protect the populations most at risk and to the creation of the conditions for providing humanitarian aid. EUFOR RCA will operate in Bangui and in the capital's airport.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, said: “The launch of this operation demonstrates the EU’s determination to take full part in international efforts to restore stability and security in Bangui and right across the Central African Republic. It forms a key part of our comprehensive approach to solving the huge challenges faced by the Central African Republic. I’d like to thank all the Member States and non-EU countries which are working together to make this operation a success. It is vital that there is a return to public order as soon as possible, so that the political transition process can be put back on track.”
The force will comprise up to 1000 troops, led by Major-General Philippe Pontiès (France) as EU Operation Commander. Its Operation Headquarters is located in Larissa, Greece, while the Force Headquarters and the troops will be located in Bangui. The common costs of the operation are estimated at € 25.9 million for the preparatory phase and a mandate of up to six months starting from the point of reaching full operational capability.
The EUFOR troops will deploy rapidly so as to have immediate effects in the operation's area of responsibility.