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Armed forces role in EU-Congo peacekeeping mission

Cabinet approves armed forces role in EU peacekeeping mission in Congo

On June 13 the cabinet approved the involvement of armed forces personnel in support of Operation ARTEMIS, an EU-led peacekeeping mission in the Congo. Through its involvement the German government wants to assist in the process of stabilizing the Republic of Congo.

German involvement in the EU-led force known as EUFOR will be subject to a time limit expiring on September 1. It can begin immediately after approval by the German parliament, which is scheduled to take place next week.

Mission

Operation ARTEMIS is intended to stabilize the security situation in the Congo. Its mission is to improve the humanitarian situation, to provide security at the airport and at the refugee camps in Bunia as well as for the civilian population and for humanitarian relief workers. The EU operation will carry out this mission in close cooperation with MONUC, the UN Observation Mission in the Congo (Mission d'Observation des Nations Unies au Congo). The United Nations will strengthen the MONUC force contingent by mid-August.

Germany will provide a maximum of 350 armed forces personnel for Operation ARTEMIS. Except in cases of emergency and to provide medical evacuation services they will not be present in the EUFOR mission area in and around Bunia.

German military personnel will assume responsibility for the following tasks:

providing support for operating the logistical base of the operation, which will be located just outside the Democratic Republic of Congo (the city of Entebbe in Uganda is under consideration),

providing air transport to this logistical base,

providing the use of a "flying hospital" (AIRMEDIVAC),

providing personnel for the multinational headquarters in Paris.

Basis of the mission

The mission is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1484 of May 30 this year which mandates the deployment of an Interim Emergency Multinational Force (IEMF) and requests support of member nations.

On June 5 the European Union declared its willingness to assume responsibility for the operation. Final approval was given on June 12. This mission is the first ever to be carried out by the European Union without NATO support. It is also based on Article 24, paragraph 2 of the German constitution (Basic Law) regarding the country's freedom to enter into a system of mutual collective security.

South Africa and Canada will be involved in the operation in addition to EU countries. France has already started to deploy units and will have command of the operation.


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