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Wed, 12 Mar, 2014 12:08:28 AM
FTimes-STT-Xinhua Report, March 12

The Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja on Tuesday expressed regret that it has taken too long for EU to form a crisis management operation for helping in the crisis in Central Africa Republic.

"If this is a swift action from EU, it remains to be answered which would be a slow action then,"  said Tuomioja while speaking in the parliament on Tuesday, reported news agency STT.

The Minister was also critical of the EU for its inability to deploy battle-group in the crisis management operation in CAR.

According to Tuomioja, the use of the battle group in the operation has been discussed but it is not yet ready.

One of the reasons given, according to Tuomioja, was that the battle group will be based for a maximum of four months.

The crisis management operation in CAR is expected to last for six months.

Tuomioja described the situation in CAR as a humanitarian disaster saying the situation is nearly escalating into genocide.

Finland has pledged at the moment to send 24 soldiers in the operation that is expected to cost about € 10 million.

News Agency Xinhua adds: The European Commission will provide 4 million euros (about 5.5 million U.S. dollars) in relief assistance to victims of the violence in the Central African Republic

(CAR) who have been forced to flee to Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.

The funding comes from the Commission's support of 45 million euros to CAR since the escalation of the crisis in December 2013. It will help the most vulnerable people seeking to meet

their basic humanitarian needs including shelter, food, health, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene.
 
"Central Africans may have found some respite from the appalling violence in their country but, even so, their suffering continues in neighboring countries. There is currently little prospect of

them being able to return home and they urgently need our help just to survive their ordeal," said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and

Crisis Response.
     
The ongoing crisis in the CAR has already forced more than 188,000 people to take refuge in neighboring countries.
     
The CAR ranks among the world's poorest countries and has been embroiled in a decade-long armed conflict.
   
 A team of European humanitarian experts are there monitoring the situation and working closely with partner organizations to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most.   
 

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