On 12 June, the EU launched its historic first military operation beyond the continent – in Congo.
Code-named Operation Artemis, the operation was mounted at the request of the United Nations (see also ). Through the operation, which has been described as "very difficult and risky", the EU is seeking to prove itself a global player and able to operate without NATO. Operation Artemis will continue until a long-term UN force led by Bangladesh is ready in September.
The 1,400-strong multinational EU force is commanded by French General Jean-Paul Thonier. Strategic direction belongs to the EU's political and security committee, consisting of the EU ambassadors of the Member States and foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
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