Following a request from the African Union, the European Union is planning to make 50 million euros available for MISCA, the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic. The European Commission president confirmed this decision on 6 December at the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa, where the dramatic events in the CAR were at the centre of concerns.
“We are going to release an additional 50 million euros to support this African mission.” “It is a concrete way of responding to the expectations of our African partners,” stressed José Manuel Barroso. He explained that these 50 million euros will be in addition to the 225 million euros paid by the EU to the CAR as development aid and the 20 million euros in humanitarian aid.
On 19 December 2013 MISCA will replace MICOPAX, the Mission for the consolidation of peace in the Central African Republic, which since 2008 was deployed by the Economic Community of West African States and also benefitted from European support. It will have more substantial means at its disposal. UN Security Council Resolution 2127 gives it the mandate to deploy for a period of 12 months and with the support of the French Armed Forces.
The EU aid will be made available through the African Peace Facility that, in the framework of the Africa-EU Partnership, supports African-led peace support operations. The aid will cover the cost of wages, accommodation and food for the troops deployed in the field, the salaries of MISCA administrative personnel and various operational costs such as transport, means of communication and medical services. This contribution by the African Peace Facility will be essential for effective mission implementation.
The support for MISCA is part of a global approach by the EU in the Central African Republic. Although slowed and reoriented due to the security and institutional situation, EU development cooperation in the CAR has never been suspended and concentrates on meeting the needs of the populations. When security is restored, the priority will be to accompany the process of transition towards the restoration of democratic institutions and the holding of elections.
The EU, the CAR’s principal donor, also provides substantial humanitarian aid that has more than doubled this year. Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, has visited the country on two occasions in the past six months.
On 8 December the EU decided to intensify its emergency response and to set up a humanitarian airlift between Doula (Cameroon) and Bangui, the CAR capital, by mobilising ECHO Flight, the EU’s humanitarian air transport service. It is also strengthening its team of humanitarian experts active in the field.