EU to decide on sending troops to Central African Republic
Tánaiste to meet other foreign affairs ministers in Brussels today to discuss military mission
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore: discussing deteriorating situation in Central African Republic in Brussels today. Photograph: Eric Luke
Foreign affairs ministers, including Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, meet in Brussels today to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic, with France, which has committed troops to the area, calling for support.
Ireland is unlikely to send troops, according to sources, given its commitment in the Lebanon. Britain has already ruled out participating in any EU-led mission, although it has stressed it will lend support in other ways. While the EU has an emergency-response unit, this has never been used and is unlikely to be deployed in this case, officials say.
Instead, countries will choose whether to participate in the mission, with a decision in principle due today.
Known as a “bridging operation”, it is expected to last between four and six months, when it will be replaced by an African Union-led mission. The operation will need a UN security council resolution.
The deteriorating situation in the area has left more than 850,000 internally displaced people. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Joe Costello will attend a separate meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation.