, BRUSSELS, Apr 2 – African and European leaders hold crisis talks on the escalating violence in the Central African Republic on Wednesday as some 80 nations gather in Brussels for a key summit.
Conflict, illegal migration and fears of more jihadist turmoil look set to dominate the mammoth gathering held a day after the European Union announced the launch of a rare military mission to restore peace in the Central African Republic (CAR), scene of some of the worst violence seen in years on the continent.
The force of up to 1,000 troops, dubbed EUFOR-RCA, the EU’s first major ground operation in six years, is to shoulder French and African peacekeepers striving to end months of escalating Christian-Muslim violence.
As leaders of Africa and Europe head into Brussels for the summit, 13 EU nations, including Britain and Germany, and 12 African states, including Chad and Gabon, gather for crisis talks on the Central African Republic (CAR) at 1030 GMT on CAR with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. READ: Uhuru nearly cancels Belgium trip over aide’s visa hitch.
Leaders of the 54-nation African Union and 28-member European bloc then meet for the EU-Africa summit at 1230 GMT, which runs to Thursday.