Central Southern Africa

Poland takes action. And more planes for Sangaris (Maj)

One of the Polish transport planes during the Rybołów 2011 exercise (credit: Polish army)
One of the Polish transport planes during the Rybołów 2011 exercise (credit: Polish Army)

(BRUSSELS2) The Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, confirmed today (December 17) in Warsaw, during his last press conference before the Christmas break, Poland will come to support the French operation in Central African Republic. (as B2 announced, read: Central African Republic. The Europeans are coming, a little... ).

1 or even 3 transport aircraft

Poland will, in fact, contribute to Operation Sangaris with un transport plane and their crew as well as a support group. The type of plane was not specified. But, according to our information it should be a C-130 Hercules — Aircraft which recently entered the Polish fleet (which has six aircraft). The Polish detachment could number at least fifty men (pilots and support). (Maj) The decision must still be approved by the Council of Ministers. Which should be done in the first week of January. The aircraft will be made available from February 1 for three months. Poland could also strengthen its aid with lighter Casa C-295 type aircraft for intra-theater travel.

Ground troops: later

As for the French request to have troops on the ground – the sending of special forces such as Grom – the Prime Minister did not say “no” definitively. But he doesn't hear “not involve combat troops » on other theaters «at least until the end of the mission in Afghanistan ». On the Polish side, it is believed that this land engagement would require more explicit authorization from the United Nations. The current resolution only explicitly provides for an authorization of the use of force for the African forces of MISCA and for France (art. 28 and 50 of resolution 2127). The transformation of MISCA into a peacekeeping force, as envisaged at the beginning of December, could be a solution.

Cooperation with France: yes, but on a reciprocal basis

More generally, Donald Tusk has announced that he wants "closer cooperation with France in the field of defence". This cooperation is essential, he added, in order to prepare a « more modern and efficient system of defense ». But this cooperation must take place on a more egalitarian basis. Poland wants to cooperate with France « on a reciprocal basis” he said.

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).