Georgian forces make positive impact in African mission

Georgia currently contributes to the EU Mission with 150 soldiers. Photo by French Defence Ministry, 20 Jun 2014 - 20:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Armed Forces serving in a mission in Central Africa are having a vital impact on the outcome of the European Union (EU) led mission.

The French Ministry of Defence released information about the role Georgian military had on the mission in the Central African Republic.

The Statement read European soldiers had taken over the French Sangaris Forces on June 14 to provide security of the population in the Capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui.

"This transfer of responsibility to the EU forces was made possible thanks to the arrival of a Georgian contingent in the mission,” read the news.

Together with Estonian and Latvian detachments, Georgian forces have taken over a very difficult area, where Sangaris Forces have been operating since December 5, 2013.

Today, 700 men make up the EU mission from several nations including France, Spain, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania. Currently, France has contributed about 250 men to the mission while the Georgian delegation consisted of 150 soldiers.

In February 2014, the EU asked the Georgian Government to contribute to the African mission. The request was confirmed in a letter sent by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze.

The Government discussed the issue and decided Georgia would support and contribute to the mission.

Georgian officials said it would be "a useful experience” for Georgian troops to participate in the EU mission.

This is the first time Georgia contributes to an EU Security and Defence Mission and its first operation in Africa.

The European Union Military Mission members in the Capital of Central African Republic, Bangui. Photo by French Defence Ministry