B2 The Daily of Geopolitical Europe. News. Files. Reflections. Reports

News BlogCentral Southern AfricaMissions Operations

EUMAM RCA launched. But delay effect for the workforce

(BRUSSELS2) EU foreign ministers gave the green light on Monday (16 March) to the launch of the new European Union mission in the Central African Republic under the CSDP, the military advisory mission EUMAM CAR intended to advise national authorities on the restructuring of their armed forces. A decision taken without debate (in point A).

A consultancy...

This military mission will have no executive power. Its main objective will be to " to advise “the military authorities of the Central African Republic (CAR) on the reforms needed to transform the armed forces (the FACA)” into a professional army, democratically controlled and representative of all ethnic groups of the CAR. She should also support the UN force, MINUSCA, in carrying out its mandate in the area of ​​security sector reform (SSR) and the verification process, of the peace agreement”. European experts - with different skills - will thus be " inserted within the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff” of the FACA. They will also provide their expertise on "the conditions of a training program" for the armed forces. The purpose of this new mission of the European CSDP is indeed to be able, in the long term, to organize training in a limited way, in order to improve the potential of the Central African army... and of the reforms to come.

... for lack of being able to carry out a training mission

This roadmap for the European mission is “ progressive as European experts diplomatically explain. It reflects, in fact, a compromise, according to what several diplomats confirmed to B2, between the desire of certain countries (including France) to have a training mission (EUTM type) like the one developed in Somalia or Mali and the reluctance of several countries (the "neutrals" - Ireland in the lead - and the Nordics, to a new European mission in the country).

60 personnel under the command of a French general

EUMAM RCA will be based in Bangui, in the Central African capital, in the Ucatex camp hitherto occupied by the European forces of EUFOR RCA which officially closed its doors on March 15 (read: "Mission accomplished", the Europeans return from Bangui). It will be ordered by Brigadier General (French) Dominique Laugel and will include a team of up to 60 people, very difficult to assemble. Cf. the rants of the Minister of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian in Riga a few weeks ago (read: When a Breton shakes the European coconut tree, it gives this). The (common) budget for the operation is estimated at 7,9 million euros over a period of 12 months; to this must be added the costs borne by each participating Member State.

delay effect

Note that the various staff will not be in place today. The Initial Operational Capability (IOC) should therefore only be launched later. Other details and explanations in the paper published Friday in our Club edition, The EUMAM RCA mission will be launched, all personnel will arrive later)

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).