World

EU launches mission to help rebuild Central African Republic army

European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, right, speaks with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, right, speaks with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 16, 2015. The European Union is debating ways to back peace talks in Libya but is unlikely to launch any security mission until stability returns to the conflict-torn country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

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."