(BRUSSELS2) The Estonian Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, officially confirmed today in a press conference organized in Tallin, the participation of the Estonian army in the future military operation in the Central African Republic (EUFOR Rca Bangui), as well as B2 announced it last night on the Club and this morning on B2. A resolution will be prepared to be submitted to the Parliament (the Riigikogu) to authorize this participation.
55 staff for 4 months
The Estonian contribution will be 55 men and women - or an infantry platoon of 35 people with armored vehicles and a logistics support unit. This commitment will be valid for a period of 4 months (for the first rotation), a fixed period which could be the only one, according to the Estonian Ministry of Defence. This type of force mainly participates in "force protection" tasks, such as guarding a base, patrolling along roads or lines of communication or serving as a rapid reaction force if necessary.
A notable contribution
This contribution may seem "modest" to some. However, it represents a significant contribution to the operation (approximately 10% of the workforce) and a substantial workforce for the Estonian army. It is also the first official confirmation from a Member State of the operation. It thus obliges the other countries which may hesitate to decide more quickly. And it will be difficult for certain countries which claim to play a role in European defense to provide less than Estonia. This allows us to hope to quickly obtain the necessary manpower for the launch of the operation. In the meantime, you can learn to say "Central Africa" in Estonian: Kesk-Aafrika.
A justified mission
The mission in the Central African Republic is justified - explained the Prime Minister - during his press conference, " by the situation in the country ". " There are situations where humanitarian aid alone is not enough. You need to provide security assistance first” reports the site Delphi. The worst has been avoided so far thanks to " the French intervention which made it possible to avoid the genocide ". Answering questions from journalists, especially from the daily Postimees, on the meaning of this intervention so far from Estonia, the Prime Minister considered that " If we are able to help others, then it is our moral duty to do so. "!
(Updated 17.01 in the morning with additional elements on the Estonian force and their role on the spot)