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Last updateMar, 27 Jan 2015 11am

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European force for CAR stabilization gets 25.9 million-euro budget

Brussels, Belgium - The European Force for Stabilization in Central African Republic (EUFOR-RCA) has been given a budget of 25.9 million euros for the six-month mandate, the chief commander for the operation, General général Philippe Pontiès, said at a press briefing on Thursday in Brussels.

He said the participation of Third World countries (non-EU members) was a political decision which had not been made at this stage of preparations for the operation.

He didn't give any date for the effective deployment of EUFOR-RCA troops.

'The number of soldiers is not yet set, but the goal is to have sufficient soldiers to tighten security at Bangui airport, as well as the neighbouring zones.

'The goal is to create conditions for enough security to enable NGOs to take humanitarian items to populations and later for the international mission supporting CAR (MISCA) to take up the job at the end of the six-month of mandate for EUFOR-RCA', he added.

General Pontiès, who has returned from a trip to Bangui, did not confirm the existence of ethnic cleaning, but said that communities with a majority of Muslims were deserted.

'Calm prevails in Bangui but activities stop from 1400 hours,' he said.

Thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict in CAR, which erupted when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels launched attacks in December 2012, This has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-balaka (anti-machete) have taken up arms.

Pana 14/02/2014