The Council of the European Union decided here Monday to conduct a bridging military operation in Eastern Chad and North Eastern Central African Republic.
It made the announcement after a meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council, which gathers foreign ministers from 27 EU member states.
The EU "will conduct a bridging military operation in Eastern Chad and North Eastern Central African Republic (EUFOR TCHAD/RCA) in the framework of the European Security and Defense Policy, for a period of one year from the date that its initial operational capability is declared," a news release from the meeting said.
This deployment "has been welcomed by both the governments of Chad and the Central African Republic," it said.
By addressing the regional dimension of the Darfur crisis, the deployment of EUFOR TCHAD/RCA and a UN police mission, in parallel to UNAMID in Sudan, "is a crucial step to facilitate a long lasting solution to the conflict in Darfur."
The Council welcomed the designation of Lieutenant General if Ireland Patrick Nash as the Operation Commander and Brigadier General of France Jean-Philippe Ganascia as the Force Commander.
The Operation Headquarters of EUFOR TCHAD/RCA will be located at Mont Valerien, France.
EUFOR TCHAD/RCA would be conducted in consultation with the authorities of the countries concerned and the operation would be conducted with full independence, impartiality and neutrality.
The planning of the operation will continue to take place in full coordination with the United Nations and in consultation with African partners, the meeting agreed. Potential third states contributors are also being consulted.