News / Europe

France Says EU to Consider Operation in CAR

French President Francois Hollande addresses the media at the end of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, Dec. 20 2013.
French President Francois Hollande addresses the media at the end of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, Dec. 20 2013.
Lisa Bryant
— France said the European Union will consider a joint operation next month in the conflict-torn Central African Republic, where French and African forces are working to disarm militias and restore security.  EU leaders, have just wrapped up a summit in Brussels, appear to be lukewarm about such a commitment.

At a news conference in Brussels on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said European Union foreign ministers will be presented with a range of options for an operation in Central African Republic when they meet in January.

Hollande said France is not pushing the EU to play a direct military role in stopping the violence in CAR.  Rather, he said, he wants the Europeans to take on specific tasks, like protecting Bangui's airport, or offering health, sanitary and humanitarian assistance.

Hollande used this week's EU summit to ramp up his push for an European operation in CAR, where sectarian violence has killed or uprooted tens of thousands of people.  An operation might also mean additional EU financing beyond what the bloc has already earmarked to support France's mission there.

But the French president said he was pushing for action by the EU.  He said it is in Europe's interest to have a greater presence in Africa, and to have an EU flag as well as the French tricolor flying in CAR.

So far, EU members have been hesitant to offer more robust support.  Hollande said Poland has agreed in principle to offer military transport and personnel, and that Belgium and Estonia are also ready to assist certain operations.  Severeal EU countries have also offered logistical support.

The French president expects January's meeting will likely firm up these and other commitments.

European Council President Herman Von Rumpoy also urged EU members to contribute more to France's operation.  He said France's intervention in CAR had helped avert a civil war and possibly even a genocide.

On Friday, there were fresh reports of heavy gunfire in the capital Bangui.  Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called this week for more international intervention to quell the violence in the country.

Human Rights Watch's emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, said French and African forces were unable to do the job alone. "This is a country which is larger than France, and there are 1,600 French soldiers on the ground and just over 2,000 African soldiers to try to control a situation where communities are killing each other.  There's simply not enough boots on the ground to stave off massacres and stabilize the situation," he said.

Amnesty said about a thousand people have been killed in CAR so far this month - a number far higher than United Nations estimates.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid