News BlogCentral Southern Africa

Sangaris. A welcome Belgian contribution

The Belgian Airbus A330 being loaded at Zaventem in November (credit: Belgian army)
The Belgian Airbus A330 being loaded at Zaventem in November (credit: Belgian army)

(BRUSSELS2) The Belgian government confirmed, on Friday (December 13), its agreement to participate in Operation Sangaris led by the French army in the Central African Republic. Participation in the form of air support (as B2 had announced exclusively, read: European aircraft as reinforcements for Operation Sangaris) which is not negligible. (Update) An agreement endorsed by the Council of Ministers on Thursday (December 19).

Airbus A330 and Hercules C130

Belgium will, in fact, provide four rotations of Airbus A-330 between the end of December 2013 and the end of January 2014, to transport personnel and equipment from France to the neighboring countries of the Central African Republic and to the capital Bangui. It will also, and above all, make available to Operation Sangaris and MISCA (the African mission), a Hercules C-130 from Libreville (Gabon), from the end of January 2014. The aircraft will fly between Libreville ( Gabon) to Bangui (Central African Republic) but also within the Central African Republic from Bangui.

A very useful contribution when we know the exhaustion of the French tactical planes (Transall), the French air command being forced to use Casa (smaller scale and lesser payload). The Belgian commitment will have an initial duration of 2 months but could be extended by one month, ie until the end of April 2014. A detachment of 35 soldiers will be provided on site. A liaison officer will also be sent to the air operations center in Lyon.

Belgium is thus the first country to get involved directly in the field. For a "small" country, the effort reveals a notable political commitment. On the French side, it is emphasized that the Belgian commitment in Mali was also very much appreciated. The Belgians gave a big helping hand” reminded a soldier at B2.

> Details ofBelgian OPEX commitment for 2014 on the club

> Download the cpress release of the Council of Ministers (December 19)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

2 thoughts on “Sangaris. A welcome Belgian contribution"

  • Hello,
    I am sending you this letter, this contribution which will certainly be very useful for the Central African Republic, for humanitarian support.
    I congratulate Belgium, for its commitment and the political effort, which are carried out to carry out this mission.
    I particularly appreciate the support of the French alongside the Belgians, to bring this collaboration between our two respective countries.

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