Lords Committee questions EU response to escalating violence in Central African Republic

29 January 2014

The Lords Committee charged with investigating Foreign Affairs has written to the Minister for Europe asking if a proposed EU taskforce for the Central African Republic (CAR) is ‘adequate’.

Along with its European partners, the UK has decided to support a military operation in CAR, where growing violence has lead to an estimated quarter of the population being displaced. The UK will share the funding of the mission but will not contribute any personnel to the mission.

David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe, informed the House of Lords EU Sub Committee on External Affairs of the EU Council proposal to send a ‘small EU force of a few hundred personnel.’ The operation was proposed as a direct result of what he called ‘particularly appalling levels of violence’, including summary executions, looting and reports of sexual violence.

The Lords Committee has now replied, asking if he is satisfied that this number of personnel, with a primary objective of securing the airport at the capital Bangui, is an adequate response.

The Committee has also questioned the Minister about the UK proposal not to contribute any personnel to the mission, asking for more clarity on the thinking behind this decision.

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