EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY SCORECARD 2015

Peacekeeping

64 - The Sudans, DRC and CAR

Grade: C-
Unity 2/5
Resources 2/5
Outcome 2/10
Total 6/20
Scorecard 2012: B- (12/20)
Scorecard 2013: B- (11/20)
Scorecard 2014: C+ (9/20)

Europe’s response to the crisis in CAR has been half-hearted and the humanitarian consequences dire.

When France intervened in CAR in December 2013 to halt a “pre-genocidal” situation, Paris may have expected a relatively easy operation. Instead, violence continued throughout 2014 and sectarian killings led to a mass exodus of Muslim citizens. European efforts to control the crisis have been only half-hearted.

Although the EU deployed a CSDP mission (EUFOR RCA) to CAR in the second quarter of the year, a lack of enthusiasm among member states (with the honourable exception of Estonia, which offered troop contributions) meant that the mission’s strength was well below the 1,000 troops that planners had originally envisaged, and it concentrated on securing the capital’s airport and surrounding areas. This was still a challenge – thousands of displaced people are camping at the airport – and EU troops helped to contain a particularly dangerous spike of violence in October. But the broader task of stabilising CAR has been left to French and African peacekeepers. The latter came under UN command in September. NGOs have accused the French of showing excessive caution in handling some violent incidents.

The EU has extended EUFOR RCA to March 2015 to help the UN complete its deployment, which has been slow. The mission remains a source of contention between France and many other EU members, notably the UK, which question whether it is feasible to rebuild CAR. The European Commission, which had long tried to highlight the “forgotten crisis”, remains a leading source of humanitarian aid.

The crisis in neighbouring South Sudan remains unresolved, with 80,000 civilians sheltering on UN peacekeeping bases a year after violence broke out in December 2013. EU members, including the UK, helped the UN by flying equipment to the mission at the height of the crisis, but there is no significant European military component on the ground. Likewise, in the DRC, African contingents have played the leading role in still-incomplete UN stabilisation efforts in the east of the country.