EU asks Georgia to send more soldiers to Central African Republic

Georgia is currently participating in the EU-led missions and operations in the Central African Republic, Mali and Ukraine., 31 May 2016 - 17:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia could increase the number of its officers in the European Union-led military advisory mission in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Georgia’s Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli announced the news today and said Georgia had been asked by the EU to send more officers to Africa to train local military authorities.

Khidasheli said the plan was to increase the number of Georgian officers in the CAR from the current five to 20 but before this could happen the country’s Parliament must approve this decision.

The Minister added the necessity of sending more Georgian soldiers to Africa emerged at yesterday’s conference in Brussels, Belgium.

"It’s very important and very prestigious when a non-EU country is asked to increase its contingent not only with military forces but also with advisers and instructors to train Central African military forces,” Khidasheli said.
"This is an honour for us and we are ready for this challenge,” she added.

Currently five Georgian officers serve in the CAR as part of a rapid response group and are tasked to escort and defend high-ranking military servants.

This week Khidasheli said she would appeal to Georgia’s Security Service to make sure the President files the project to Parliament. The Minister said she had already received verbal consent from the State Security Service but this was needed to be written down in a formal statement.

She added it was not 100 percent decided yet whether or not the increased number of Georgian officers would be needed, but the procedures needed to be completed soon regardless.

"Georgia’s Parliament finishes its Spring Session on June 24 and the current mission in the Central African Republic rotates on July 12,” Khidasheli said.
"So Georgia’s Parliament should make a decision on this issue before the Spring Session ends, otherwise we will physically have no time to present this issue to Parliament.”

The final decision regarding the number of Georgian officers in Africa will be made when Khidasheli attends more meetings in Brussels in two weeks.