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The EU response to the Central African Republic crisis

Since the outbreak of new violence late 2012, the EU has intensified its outreach to partners. It is actively engaged in international and regional efforts to stabilize the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and to restore a more stable government in the country.

On 19-20 December 2013, the European Council confirmed the EUs willingness to use relevant instruments to contribute towards the efforts under way to stabilise the country, including under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), based on a proposal by High Representative Catherine Ashton.

In this respect, the Political and Security Committee confirmed on 15 January the appropriateness of the preparation for a possible EU military operation, and invited the EEAS to develop a Crisis Management Concept in view of a decision on 20 January at the Foreign Affairs Council. European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva has called, jointly with the UN Under-Secretary General and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, a ministerial meeting on CARs humanitarian situation in Brussels on 20 January. She has visited the country twice in 2013 and co-chaired a ministerial meeting on the humanitarian crisis in CAR at the 2013 UN General Assembly with France and the UN.

Despite the signature on 11 January 2013 in Libreville of a political agreement initiating a transition period, tensions culminated in the violent seizure of power and the unconstitutional change of government by SELEKA rebel groups in March 2013. On 5 December 2013, the worst spate of violence since the outbreak of the crisis erupted in the capital and other parts of the country, triggered by an attack by anti-Balaka and other armed groups against Muslims in Bangui. This, and the acts of retaliation that followed, left more than 1,000 people dead and led to a sudden and considerable increase of internal displacement.