EU To Deploy 1,000 Soldiers In CAR geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>EUFOR RCA is to provide temporary support in achieving a safe and secure environment in the Bangui area, information pills with a view to handing over to a UN peacekeeping operation or to African partners.

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According to the statement issued by the Council ahead of the Euro-Africa Summit in Brussels Wednesday, the intervention “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.”

She further said the force “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 1,000 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.

The deployment comes at a time when African troops are bolstering security in Bangui and other areas to put an end to the rampant religious killings in the poor country.

The country slipped into anarchy last year following the toppling of President Bozize by the Islamic Seleka insurgents who massacred Christians on a large scale.

The Seleka leadership would later be forced into exile by the international community. Christians have since responded by waging reprisal attacks against Muslim communities thus killing thousands.

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