(BRUSSELS) The latest statement from the High Representative of the EU, Catherine Ashton, on the Central African Republic is intended to be a little more alarmist than usual...” I am alarmed by the deteriorating situation in Bangui and the escalation of violence there since March 22 explains Catherine Ashton in perfect English (*). " The combined action of the African force MISCA and the French operation Sangaris is essential to contain the tension and to restore public order as soon as possible. The attacks against them are therefore unacceptable she adds. " Targeting civilians on the basis of religion or ethnicity” is strongly condemned.
A growing risk of instability
The High Representative condemns the violence against the civilian population, and the targeting of civilians on the basis of religion and ethnicity, just as she is concerned about the " continual exodus of parts of the population and a very large number of refugees towards neighboring countries where (reception) facilities have reached their limits ". In the same way, the situation in the Central African Republic today presents " a growing risk for the process of political transition, the territorial integrity of the country and stability in the region”.
Full support for MISCA and Sangaris... and always a European intention
It reiterates its full support for MISCA and Operation Sangaris in their efforts to stabilize the Central African Republic. But it remains very discreet about the future European operation EUFOR Rca which should already have been deployed on the ground. " The European Union intends to take its part in these efforts to bring back stability and security in Bangui and the rest of the country says C. Ashton.
Comments : A rather laconic and rather weak conclusion compared to past commitments. Because the intention has already been affirmed on several occasions, starting at the European summit in December. Since then, the various stages have been completed, in particular through the decision setting the framework for the European operation EUFOR RCA, the constitution of a force (which is not yet fully completed) and the adoption of the various operational plans. It is therefore symptomatic that the very word European force or EUFOR is not mentioned. Does this mean that the office of the High Representative thinks that this operation will not be deployed? We hope that this intention will quickly turn into action...
(*) The press release was only released in English, an official language as everyone knows both in French-speaking Africa and which has become the sole language of European foreign policy 🙂