As African and European leaders are meeting for a 4-day Summit in Brussels, where more that 80 nations are attending, the European Union pledged on Wednesday to spend an extra 800 million euros on peacekeeping missions in Africa.
“I am glad that today I’ll be able to inform that over the next three years an additional 800 million euros will be put at the service of this African Peace Facility. This is just a concrete example of the work we are doing to promote some of the goals that we share with the United Nations in Africa.” said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Barroso’s pledge comes as the EU will officially launch this week its military mission in the Central African Republic, where a sectarian armed conflict erupted almost a year ago. Up to 1,000 EU soldiers will be sent to the capital Banghi to support French and African forces in stabilizing the country.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is also in Brussels, pleaded for more troops for CAR.
“We are deeply concern about the desperate pride of the people of the Central African Republic. As you know I have presented my recommendations to the Security Council to transform the African led mission MISCA into United Nations peace-keeping operations. But this will take time. In the meantime I have called to address immediate needs.” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The former French colony descended into chaos over a year ago after a Muslim rebel coalition overthrew the democratically elected government, spurring revenge attacks by a Christian militia.
In one of the poorest countries in the world, more than a million people have fled their homes.