EU to use Greek base for Central African Republic humanitarian effort

A military base in Larissa, central Greece, is to be used as a coordination center for a European Union humanitarian effort in Central African Republic, sources said on Thursday.

A French major general will be put in charge of the operation, while a Greek brigadier will act as chief of staff.

The use of the base, which serves as a combined air operations center by NATO, is due to be officially confirmed on Friday.

Almost one million people, or a quarter of the population, have been displaced in Central African Republic, a former French colony, by clashes that began when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in a coup in March.

Christian self-defense groups have since taken up arms against them and the United Nations estimates that tit-for-tat violence has claimed more than 2,000 lives.

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