MONUSCO blue helmets train FARDC soldiers


Part of the mandate the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has is assisting local security forces in stepping up operational capabilities to better do the job of protecting civilians in the strife-torn central African country.

Putting this into practice saw MONUSCO personnel last month put more than 650 FARDC (Armed Forces of the DRC) officers and troops through intensive refresher training covering strategies, tactics, IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and musketry.

Training, both practical and theory, was between Rwamapara and Ndoromo military bases near Bunia in Ituri.

Special units from the Brazilian and Guatemalan contingents supported by Bangladeshi and Nepalese contingents deployed in Ituri took the tutor role.

In addition to the military aspect FARDC personnel on course were given insights into human rights and humanitarian law and protection of displaced persons as well as sexual violence in armed conflict.

“The training was useful and, as we say in French, repetition is the mother of science. It complements and reinforces other training for our troops at Lukusa training centre in Kisangani. In the current context the training will allow better conduct in field in terms of respect for international humanitarian law and to apply military tactics learned. We discovered aspects unfamiliar to us until now, including jungle combat. Mow we are able and ready to apply the training on the ground,” Lieutenant Colonel Alain Zambuta, deputy commander operations and intelligence for the 3206th FARDC regiment, said.

The training was a further illustration of MONUSCO’s commitment to provide the Congolese forces with what is needed to eliminate armed groups in Ituri.

“MONUSCO is and will always be ready to help with training. We will be by your side to provide more training to improve skills to allow you to destroy negative forces on Congolese soil. That’s why MONUSCO and the international community are here. You are the ones who will win this battle, you are the ones who will destroy the negative forces,” General Afonso Da Costa, head of Mission peacekeepers, said.