Joint Brazilian/Kenyan jungle warfare training in DR Congo

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Specialist Brazilian jungle warfare operators deployed in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) better prepared Kenyan soldiers for what they can encounter with an intensive, three-week long training course in the harsh surrounds of Beni.

The Kenyan Ministry of Defence (MoD) has it the joint endeavour is “a ground-breaking collaboration”, marking “a milestone in international peacekeeping efforts” and showing “the dedication of both nations to enhance capabilities and contribute to the stability of the region”.

The Kenyan quick reaction force (QRF), assigned to MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) was on the receiving end of the expertise residing in the Brazilian Jungle Warfare Mobile Training Team (JWMTT), also a MONUSCO component.

Under the dense canopy of the Congolese jungle, soldiers from Kenya’s QRF, known for their expertise in jungle warfare, joined forces with their Brazilian counterparts, who bring their extensive knowledge of tropical environments and counterinsurgency tactics. “The collaboration,” according to a statement, “aims to harness the strengths of both units and promote interoperability in tackling the complex challenges of peacekeeping missions in hostile environments”.

Lieutenant Colonel Ambrose Mwabili, Kenyan QRF Commanding Officer, emphasising the importance of the training said: “Jungle warfare presents unique challenges that require specialised skills and tactics. Sharing our experiences and learning from the Brazilians, we hope to become even more effective in our mission to protect civilians and maintain peace in this region.”

Brazilian Lieutenant Colonel Joao Carlos Duque, who leads his unit, echoed Mwabili’s sentiments: “The diversity of our soldiers and the expertise we gained operating in the Amazon rainforest make us a valuable partner in this venture. Together with our Kenyan colleagues, we aim to raise the bar for peacekeeping forces in jungle environments.”

The course curriculum covers topics, including navigation in dense foliage, survival skills, patrolling techniques and medical care in austere conditions. Participants undergo gruelling physical and mental challenges, pushing them to their limits and preparing them for the unpredictable nature of jungle warfare.

As the jungle warfare course proceeds, it is anticipated the Kenyan QRF and JWMTT will forge stronger bonds, exchange invaluable knowledge and emerge as more formidable peacekeeping units. Their dedication to mastering the complexities of jungle warfare reaffirms their commitment to safeguarding the fragile peace in Eastern DRC and serving as a beacon of hope for the region’s residents, the statement reads.