Operation Artemis Essay

Submitted By sharonastudie
Words: 2089
Pages: 9

Operation Artemis: A Success Story
The European Union and Congo

Sharona Mulder

Ten Kate, group 1
English Proficiency 2, LEV007B10
3 February 2012
Words: 2033
The First African World War1 and the Central African Web of Wars,2 both terms are coined to describe the conflict in Congo, which has been affecting the country since 1998, and has already caused the death of five million people.3 Implicated in those terms, is that it is a complicated conflict, where many different actors, and interest are involved. In brief, three different parts of the conflict can be distinguished. Firstly, there are struggles over land, power and natural assets, like gold and coltan, linked with ethnical strife.4 Secondly, there are many different rebel groups who try to establish authority over the state apparatus.5 Thirdly, it is an interstate conflict, involving many of the neighboring countries, like Angola, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and several rebel groups from those countries, and origins can amongst others be found in the Rwandan genocide.6
As a result of this complications, the United Nations Security Council decided to intervene by deploying MONUC, Mission de l`Organisation des Nations Unies en République démocratique du Congo (the United Nations Organizations Mission), in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1999. 7 Four years after this deployment, in 2003, new hostilities erupted in Bunia and this time the MONUC forces were not able to effectively handle them. 8 Therefore, the UN requested an Interim Emergency Multinational Force in the region Bunia on May 30.9 Within a month the decision was made by the European Union to instigate a joint action, which became known as operation Artemis. 10 The aims of the mission where, according to its mandate, stabilizing the town, protecting the airport and the internally displaced people, and protecting the civilian population and the UN personal. 11
This operation Artemis was the first mission of the EU outside of Europe without the support of NATO. Therefore, it is interesting to evaluate this first mission, especially since the European Union has envisioned a rather ambitious role for themselves as an international military actor. As was written on the website of the European Union under the heading capacities ’The world is changing, and Europe faces an increasingly complex and uncertain security environment. There is a growing demand for the European Union to become more capable, more coherent and more strategic as a global actor. The EU disposes of a unique array of instruments to help promote peace and security where needed.’12 As the first independent military mission, Operation Artemis, can be utilized as an example, to analyze if the EU is capable of fulfilling this promising statement. Although operation Artemis is often criticized for the leading role France has taken, it actually was a success, since it was executed by the EU without NATO, with France as Framework Nation, and the mission had a positive influence on the conflict.

Firstly, Operation Artemis was a success, since it showed that the European Union was capable of deploying a military mission outside the borders of Europe without the help of NATO, at short notice. This was a ‘military and political triumph’, according to Rodt.13 In agreement with Rodt, Guillia writes that the launch of operation Artemis has shown that when the member states of the EU are willing, the EU can answer rapidly to a crisis situation.14 As became clear, since on May 30, the UN requested for an Interim Emergency Multinational Force in Bunia, and within a month after this request, on July 13, the decision was made to launch mission Artemis with France as Framework Nation, and thus send troops to the Ituri Region in Congo.15 This to the surprise of Solena, the high representative of the European Union, who had expected this process to take months. 16
In particular, Operation Artemis was a