The European Union has launched an advisory military mission in the Central African Republic to help the country rebuild its army.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday that the mission "will help the Central African Republic turn the corner" after a major sectarian conflict killed at least 5,000 people.

The Central African Republic has been rocked by sectarian violence over the past year, and the army relies on U.N. peacekeepers to stabilize the country.

Both the Christian militia and Muslim rebels have agreed to lay down their arms, but splinter groups of fighters continue to clash.

The EU mission aims to advise the country's military on reforms to make it "professional, democratically controlled and ethnically representative."