The independent resource on global security

The European Union Training Mission in the Central African Republic: An Assessment

EUTM RCA cover
Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
February, 2021

This SIPRI Background Paper provides an overview of the European Union Training Mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) and assesses its impact on the country’s conflict dynamics since it was established in 2016. The second of three country-specific papers, it is part of a larger SIPRI project analysing the effectiveness of the EU’s training missions in Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali. All three papers will feed into a synthesis paper that will offer a comparative analysis of the missions and recommendations for the way forward. 

This paper analyses EUTM RCA’s main training and advisory activities, before assessing its political and operational impacts. It summarizes the main factors that account for the mission’s successes and limitations, and makes five recommendations to augment the future impact of the mission. 

It concludes that EUTM RCA has made an impact in terms of military capacity building and assistance to the national Ministry of Defence, but so far there has been little tangible progress in terms of structural reform of the defence sector or the transformation of the armed forces. In addition, EUTM RCA faces many obstacles that lie largely beyond its control. The main challenges of lack of national ownership and limited political engagement cannot be addressed with technical solutions alone. 


I. Introduction

II. Background

III. EUTM RCA's activities

IV. The impact of EUTM RCA

V. Explanatory factors behind the impact of EUTM RCA

VI. Conclusions


Annelies Hickendorff was a Research Assistant with SIPRI’s Sahel and West Africa Programme.
Igor Acko (Central African Republic, CAR) is an independent researcher based in CAR.