Central Southern AfricaMissions Operations

EUFOR Rca bogged down in logistical issues

EuforRCA Logo(BRUSSELS2 – exclusive) A new generation conference is to be held this Thursday (March 13) at the EU Council to complete the arrangements for the EUFOR RCA military operation. This is the fourth. The other generation conferences were unsuccessful. And the logistics conference held in Greece also failed to fill all the “holes”. The operation still suffers from difficulties in terms of strategic transport (Europe-Bangui) and various fairly concrete logistical functions on site.

In particular, we do not yet know how the 140 Georgian soldiers ready to leave will be transported there. The various partners consulted responded negatively or did not follow up. The United States, for example, was contacted but responded that it could help the soldiers of MISCA or the UN but not those of the EU... Moreover, with the help of the Ukrainian crisis, certain countries have already, or are considering suspending or reducing their offer of participation. This would be the case in particular of Romania or Poland. High Representative Catherine Ashton asked, by letter, the various Member States to make an effort. But apparently, she didn't pick up her phone – necessary in this case – to convince the hesitant or reluctant ones one by one.

Commentary: a paper army?

The generation of forces today shows all the European weaknesses. Whether in terms of personnel, financial and logistical commitment, the reality is stark. The European Union is incapable of aligning and, above all, ensuring the support of a few hundred men available for 6 months, as part of a peacekeeping operation, under UN mandate... And Again ! If we remove the personnel from third countries, those provided by France (framework nation) and those present at the rear, at the General Staff, we arrive at around 300 soldiers, according to a latest assessment. It's weak! Especially compared to the total number of armies which line up on paper, 1,5 million men. While the EU is engaged in a standoff with Russia, this inability to honor its international commitments risks not going unnoticed by our neighbors and partners. It is not the moment…

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

NB: for the European operation in Chad RCA, it is already… towards Russia that all eyes were turned. In the midst of the Georgian war, very discreetly, an agreement was signed with Moscow allowing the arrival of Russian helicopters in eastern Chad. A welcome arrival which made it possible to “unblock” the mission. Read (for memory): Exclusive. The Russian-EU agreement for helicopters in Chad et Russia will be present with 4 helicopters in Chad

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).

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