Georgia will send a company-size army unit to contribute EU’s military mission in the Central African Republic, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said on February 20.
“Today the Georgian government discussed a request from the European Union to join its operation in the Central African Republic,” Alasania told journalists after a government session. “We [the government] have discussed it and the decision has been made to get involved in this process.”
EU foreign ministers endorsed on February 10 to establish the EU military operation in the Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA) to provide “temporary support, for a period of up to six months, to help to achieve a secure environment in the Bangui area,” the capital of the country, in order to create the conditions for providing humanitarian aid. France’s Major General Philippe Pontiès is the mission commander.
Georgia and EU signed in November, 2013 a framework agreement on Georgia’s participation in EU’s crisis management operations.
“This is a humanitarian mission and morally justified mission,” the Georgian Defense Minister said. “This is a mission carried out by the European Union based on the UN resolution. Talks will be held with the European Union over the details. The mission will last for six months, starting from May. A company of the Georgian armed forces will be involved in the mission.”
“Details will be known within next few weeks,” Alasania added. “I am sure that this mission, like other missions, will be a success for our armed forces.”
Also on February 20, Defense Minister Alasania and chief of the Georgian army staff, Vakhtang Kapanadze, met President Giorgi Margvelashvili and requested him to ask the Parliament to approve proposal on sending Georgian troops to the Central African Republic.
Georgia currently has 1,560 soldiers in Afghanistan, making the country the fifth largest contributor to the ISAF mission after the U.S.; UK; Germany and Italy.