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news 04 Nov 14

Montenegro Army to Join EU Mission in Africa

Montenegro has agreed to send several officers to join the new EU peacekeeping mission in the strife-torn Central African Republic.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica

Montenegro plans to deploy troops in the EU mission in the Central African Republic, a country torn by ethnic violence between Muslims and Christians.
 
By year-end, Montenegro will send several staff officers to the command of the EU operation, known as EUCAR, in the capital, Bangui, BIRN has learned.

"Parliament will make a final decision on the mandate and number of Montenegrin soldiers but as a candidate for EU membership we are obliged to actively participate in its military operations," a Defence Ministry source told BIRN.

The EU's 1,000-strong military mission began its assignment in the Central African Republic in April, aimed at assisting international forces there, comprised of 6,000 African Union and 2,000 French troops.  

Ethnic and sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christian groups have destabilized the country, where fighting broke out last year after a Muslim rebel group overthrew the government.

The engagement in EUCAR will be the country's fifth international military operation.

Apart from a unit and medical team in Afghanistan, Montenegro has deployed peacekeepers in the UN mission in Liberia, and in EU operations in Somalia and Mali.

The annual budget cost for participation in the foreign peacekeeping missions amounts to around 3 million euro.

Montenegro deployed troops in the NATO operation in Afghanistan back in 2010; some 27 soldiers are currently engaged there.

Last week, Defence Minister Milica Pejonovic Djurisc said that Montenegrin troops will remain in Afghanistan even after allied troops withdraw in December.

She said the country is determined to actively participate in a new NATO led non-combat mission "Resolute support" in Afganistan, in accordance with its possibilities.

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