The president of France, François Hollande, has just announced another military intervention in Africa, while the plan to send an EU battle group is still under consideration.
“This operation will be swift: it does not have the vocation to last long,” Hollande said on the plan to send troops to the Central African Republic. With six hundred French soldiers already in the country, he pledged to double their number “within days, if not hours.” France is a former colonial power in the resource-rich country, and French companies own uranium mines there.
Meanwhile a proposal to despatch an EU battle group to the Central African Republic is subject to approval by other EU states. Britain is in charge of the standby unit of 1,500 soldiers but is reportedly not keen on backing the venture.
According to a paper drafted by EU security experts, “an EU military force could make a meaningful contribution to the restoration of a secure environment for the civilian population, thereby facilitating humanitarian and development assistance operations from the EU due to its central role as donor.”
Peoples News No. 95.