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Foreign minister Urmas Paet: the crisis situation in the Central African Republic needs the cooperation of international forces

01.04.2014

Today in Brussels, at the meeting of European Union and African foreign ministers, foreign minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union must settle on the launch of the Central African Republic operation as soon as possible, in order to prevent the conflict from escalating.

“The current crisis situation in the Central African Republic explicitly shows the need for cooperation with international forces,” Paet said. “Failure to stop escalation of the conflict may result in a real threat of genocide developing in the Central African Republic,” he added.

Paet stated that Estonia recognises the work done so far by France and the African Union to help alleviate the situation in the country. “Estonia has chosen to contribute up to 55 members of their Defence Forces for the European Union’s military operation,” he said.
Foreign minister Urmas Paet expressed hope that under the leadership of interim president Catherine Samba-Panza, the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic will improve.

The entire 4.6 million population of the Central African Republic has been effected by the crisis. People have no access to health care and there is a shortage of food. There are about 700 000 internal refugees and nearly 250 000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. The African Union’s MISCA operation and the French Sangaris operation are currently operating in the Central African Republic.

The European Union and African foreign ministers also discussed Africa’s wider security concerns and the ability of European countries to contribute to the preparation and training of security forces, since Africa’s sense of ownership in regulating the continent’s tensions is considered essential. Estonian military personnel participated in the European Union Training Mission in Mali, which was Estonia’s first ever military involvement in Africa.

 

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