A South African infantry platoon was instrumental in rescuing a 10-year-old girl from a rebel force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), adding weight to calls for the make-up of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) not to be changed.
The rescue was executed in Kagamobiri near Kainama in North Kivu during a joint patrol of South African peacekeepers and FARDC, the DRC armed forces.
A report from the central African country has it that the young girl managed to escape from the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), one grouping classified as an illegal armed grouping (IAG) in the country. She is now safely with government forces.
Abduction is one method used by rebels, particularly the ADF, to increase numbers by forced recruitment. Abducted women and children are seen to be important in the ADF with children indoctrinated and used in attacks after military training.
“High visibility and quick reaction has seen South African soldiers repel numerous IAG activities. Doing this we ensure we protect civilians in our area of responsibility and regain community trust in return ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ of the civilian population of DRC through robust patrols and joint FARDC and RSA operations,” a South African communique said.