The land component of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) military force is set to benefit from the deployment of Belgian special operations force.
Belgium will send 25 members of its Special Operations Regiment to Lwama in Kindu later this year to train the DRC‘s 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade.
Belgium is planning to deploy the military detachment to support the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to improve the capabilities of its rapid reaction brigade, the Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 15 February.
The DRC government made a request in October 2021 for Belgian military support in the areas of land navigation, tactical combat casualty care, and counter-improvised explosive device techniques.
The deployment is set to last for 12 weeks, with the first four weeks set aside for the Belgian SOF to train Congolese trainers, followed by eight weeks during which experts from both countries will exchange experiences.
Belgium will also provide intensive coaching to the Congolese with the objective of 31st Brigade trainers being able to provide basic training anywhere in the DRC.
The DRC which was the scene of one of probably Africa’s worst ever civil wars during the late 1990s, is now being faced by a series of smaller conflicts over land, resources, and power.
The United Nations have been flagging the deteriorating situation in DRC for quite some time and recently declared a Level 3 (L3) emergency – the highest alert level – in three provinces regions in the DRC, in an effort to attract attention to the crises.
Belgium, the former colonial power in the DRC, had earlier undertaken several intervention in an effort to support the pacification and unification of the war-torn country.
Belgium had earlier provided significant aid to the DRC. In April 2004 Belgium delivered medical supplies and military vehicles to the new unified army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). “The medical material and a car carrier with 30 jeeps and trucks are for the integrated brigade that Belgium is presently training in Kisangani, Orientale Province,” the press attaché at the Belgian embassy, Bernard Quintin, had said at the time regarding the military aid.