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First battalion trained in the Central African Republic for EUTM RCA

In order to mark the end of the training of the Territorial Infantry Battalion (BIT) 3 and following the battalion exercise, a delivery of training certificate is given to the executives. (Credit: EUTM RCA)

(B2) The first battalion of the Central African armed forces trained by the European mission EUTM RCA, is operational. A graduation ceremony was held at Camp Kasaï yesterday (Thursday, May 11), to mark the end of seven months of training.

Seven month training

The 650 soldiers, men and women, of the territorial infantry battalion number 3 (BIT3) have undergone training and training ranging from the establishment of the command structure, individual training, then group level, section, company then finally battalion. Two priorities guided the training: “defending the population and property” and “guaranteeing the integrity of the national territory”.

A first (small) step for the reconstruction of the FACA

For Herman Ruys, the Belgian general commanding the EUTM European mission, the formation of this first battalion is only a " first step in the reconstruction of the Central African army. " Now, we have a battalion of 600 people and are able to do certain tasks, but we have to continue. We will gradually increase the capacity of the FACA. The formation of the second battalion, the "BIT1", has already begun. Europeans and Central Africans are now better established. His training should take three or four months, depending on what B2 has been able to learn. By the end of its two-year mandate, EUTM RCA should have formed three battalions, or 1800 personnel.

No deployment planned... due to lack of resources 

A small downside comes to temper this good result. The 650 Central African soldiers should have been deployed on the ground, in particular in the south-east of the country, where the American special forces and the regional African forces operate on the heels of Joseph Kony. Reality dictated that this deployment be postponed. These Central African soldiers have neither the basic equipment (logistics, trucks, radio systems...) nor armament (individual or unit) for it. The risk is real. “Sif we send them without means, without armament, without pay, they could fall back into the traps of the past “, namely the extortion of the population, recently explained to B2 a connoisseur of the country.

Hardly the armament to equip a company

« The armament available to the FACA is barely enough to equip a combat company, ie around 150 men. The ammunition available would barely be enough to sustain a low-intensity hostility for 30 minutes. said Chief of Staff Ludovic Ngaïfeï during a conference in early April. The question of tactical vehicles has been, in part, settled by bilateral donations from France on the one hand, from the United States on the other. China has promised to deliver equipment and uniforms.

(Leonor Hubaut)

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Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.