EU approves military training mission for Central African Republic

The European Union agreed Tuesday to set up a military training mission that will help with defence sector reform in the Central African Republic, which is recovering from two years of clashes between its Muslim and Christian communities.

The country experienced the sectarian violence after Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew then-president Francois Bozize, a Christian, in March 2013. Thousands of people were killed and about a million were displaced in the conflict, which has since died down.

The mission will be based in the capital Bangui and will operate for an initial two years, the EU said in a statement issued at a meeting of defence ministers. It will work towards a "modernised, effective, inclusive and democratically accountable" army for the country.

The decision follows a previous EU advisory mission set up in March 2015 to help CAR reform its military, after the 28-member bloc had dispatched soldiers to help maintain the peace alongside UN, African Union and French forces.

International peacekeeping operations in CAR have drawn sharp condemnation in recent months, due to allegations of more than 140 cases of sex abuse by soldiers stationed there.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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