The European Union (EU)’s deployment of up to 1,000 troops must only be the beginning of the international community’s renewed response to the violence and ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic (CAR), Amnesty International said as a key EU-Africa Summit opened in Brussels today.
For months now, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims, as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity, being perpetrated in the CAR have demanded a swift and robust response. The EU military operation, EUFOR RCA, is expected to deploy soon and is intended as a “bridging mission” to support the existing 8,000 African Union and French troops until a full-fledged UN peacekeeping force can deploy later this year.
“The Central African Republic is gripped by a human rights and humanitarian crisis of historic proportions. By failing to respond more robustly and urgently, the international community has shown a callous disregard for the country’s embattled civilians, abandoning them in their moment of need,” said Christian Mukosa, Central Africa Researcher at Amnesty International.