European Union External Action

Advising on the civilian security sector: official inauguration of the EU Advisory Mission in Bangui

25/09/2020 - 15:52
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The participation of the President of the Central African Republic and several ministers next to high-level representatives of the UN organisations and the diplomatic corps in Bangui testifies to the importance of the EU Advisory Mission. EU security experts will in coordination with international counterparts advice the Central African authorities on the build-up of an efficient and accountable civilian security sector. The official inauguration on 24 September marks a milestone of meticulous planning and deployment activities initiated summer 2019 by the EEAS.

VIPs

Like the people in the Central African Republic, the EU wishes to see peace, security and stability in the country which suffers from high levels of violence. For this to happen, state authority must be extended throughout the country in accordance with rule of law and human rights principles as well as on the basis of a democratically elected Government The EU Advisory Mission supports this essential objective. It is estimated that almost 600,000 Central Africans are displaced due to the high levels of violence. The Council on Foreign Relations, a US-based think-thank, assesses that armed militias control up to 2/3 of Central African territory.

The Peace Agreement, signed in February 2019 in Bangui, gives hope for lasting peace. Answering swiftly a request by the Central African Government, the European Union initiated summer 2019 the process to launch a civilian mission to advise on the reform of the country’s civilian security sector. This planning and launching process was led by the CPCC, the operational headquarters of the currently eleven civilian CSDP Missions.

The launching of a civilian CSDP Mission is a joint effort of EU services and partners

The official inauguration ceremony in Bangui 24 September marks now a milestone of meticulous planning, coordination and deployment work.

The event was honored by the participation of His Excellency, the President of the Republic Faustin Archange Touadéra. The. President addressed the audience and highlighted that the new mission has his full support. He appreciated the efforts the new mission has already made in the field of the security sector reform and the dedication of the Head of Mission, Colonel Soares.

Despite the additional challenges set by the current global Corona pandemic, the deployment of the Mission to Bangui was achieved within the planned time limits, as Birgit Loeser, the acting Commander of the currently eleven civilian CSDP Missions, reminded in her videoed greeting to the participants of the inauguration ceremony. The successful deployment was a team achievement of the relevant EEAS services, the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments and the warehouse for civilian CSDP in Southern Sweden, including concrete support activities by the French Air Force, the military EU Training Mission, the EU Delegation in Bangui and naturally the hosts of the Mission, the Central African Government.

The Mission works from the headquarters, that it has established in Bangui, and initiated already its mandate implementation activities.

A challenging way ahead, but “patience will cook a stone”

The challenges are formidable, but so is the dedication of the staff of the EU Advisory Mission in Bangui. “They have arrived in Bangui highly motivated to answer the call of the Central African President, to support the authorities and the Central African people to develop the necessary reforms of the security sector to strengthen peace and public calm, which are so much desired, and which will allow prosperity and the general improvement of living conditions,” outlined Paulo Soares, the head of the EU Advisory Mission at the official inauguration. 

A safer environment in CAR would enable the population to receive concrete benefits from the peace agreement: the peace dividend, which includes the relaunch of social and economic investments and the possibility to start economic activities. Improving security and the rule of law is a precondition for this. Through its advice the EU Advisory Mission will support the Central African government in this process. Many challenges lay ahead. But as a Central African saying goes:” Patience will cook a stone.”

Please visit the Mission’s home page for more background information on the Mission, its mandate and recent history. Follow the Mission on Twitter and Facebook for the most recent news on the Mission and its work in Bangui.