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Press Releases

27.04.2006

EU military operation in support of the MONUC during the election process in DR Congo:

Council adopts Joint Action, appoints Operation and Force Commanders

 

The Council adopted today a Joint Action on the European Union military operation in support of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) during the election process. The Joint Action forms the EU legal basis and sets out the framework for the operation. The military operation will be conducted in full agreement with the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in close coordination with them and MONUC. This autonomous EU-led operation will be conducted in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

"The EU is determined to support the electoral process and the Congolese people at this historic juncture", High Representative Javier Solana said. "Today's decision, which follows the authorisation of the EU operation by the Security Council, further confirms that this operation is well on track. Support now will help embed peace in the DRC and the region after years of conflict."

The Council appointed Lieutenant General Karlheinz VIERECK (Germany) EU Operation Commander and Major General Christian DAMAY (France) EU Force Commander. Lt- Gen Viereck was in Brussels today and met with High Representative Solana and the EU's Political and Security Committee.

Code-named EUFOR RD Congo, the military operation will be deployed in accordance with the mandate set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1671 (2006) adopted unanimously on 25 April. In that regard, EUFOR RD Congo will carry out the following tasks:

  • to support MONUC to stabilise a situation, in case MONUC faces serious difficulties in fulfilling its mandate within its existing capabilities,
  • to contribute to the protection of civilians under imminent threat of physical violence in the areas of its deployment, and without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
  • to contribute to airport protection in Kinshasa,
  • to ensure the security and freedom of movement of the personnel as well as the protection of the installations of EUFOR RD Congo,
  • to execute operations of limited character in order to extract individuals in danger.

EUFOR RD Congo will include:

  • the deployment of an advance element to Kinshasa of circa 400-450 military personnel,
  • the availability of a battalion-size "on-call" force over the horizon outside the country, but quickly deployable if necessary. This force will be on stand-by, ready to be deployed upon decision by the EU.

EUFOR DR Congo will be deployed in the DRC for a period ending four months after the date of the first round of the presidential and parliamentary elections. The decision on the launching of the operation will be adopted at a later stage and in the light of the electoral calendar in the DRC.

The EU Operational Headquarters will be located in Potsdam (Germany).

Under the responsibility of the Council of the EU, the Political and Security Committee will exercise the political control and strategic direction of EUFOR RD Congo.

The financial reference amount for the common costs of the EU military operation for a four-month period will be EUR 16,700,000.

In recent years, the EU has intensified its efforts to facilitate a successful transition in DRC, on the basis of the comprehensive and inclusive agreement signed in Pretoria in 2002. The EU has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the transition process in the DRC, through political action, through assistance as well as through military and police missions (ARTEMIS, EUPOL KINSHASA and EUSEC R.D. CONGO missions). The new operation will build on this trend. It will be part of the EU's comprehensive approach in DRC.

 

Date: 28.04.2006