In a ground-breaking collaborative effort, specialist Brazilian jungle warfare operators recently joined forces with Kenyan soldiers for an intensive three-week jungle warfare training course in the rugged terrain of Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This joint endeavor represents a significant milestone in international peacekeeping efforts and underscores the commitment of both nations to enhancing their capabilities and contributing to regional stability.
The Kenyan Ministry of Defence (MoD) lauded this collaborative effort as a historic achievement in the realm of international peacekeeping. The training involved the Kenyan quick reaction force (QRF), assigned to the UN’s MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), and the Brazilian Jungle Warfare Mobile Training Team (JWMTT), which is also a component of MONUSCO.
Under the dense canopy of the Congolese jungle, soldiers from Kenya’s QRF, known for their jungle warfare expertise, joined hands with their Brazilian counterparts, who possess extensive knowledge of tropical environments and counterinsurgency tactics. This collaborative effort aims to leverage the strengths of both units and promote interoperability, which is crucial for addressing the complex challenges of peacekeeping missions in hostile environments.
Lieutenant Colonel Ambrose Mwabili, Kenyan QRF Commanding Officer, emphasized the importance of this training, stating, “Jungle warfare presents unique challenges that require specialized 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, highlighting the diversity of their soldiers and the expertise gained from operating in the Amazon rainforest. He expressed the joint commitment to raising the bar for peacekeeping forces in jungle environments.
The training curriculum encompassed a range of topics, including navigation in dense foliage, survival skills, patrolling techniques, and medical care in austere conditions. Participants faced grueling physical and mental challenges that pushed them to their limits, preparing them for the unpredictable nature of jungle warfare.
As the jungle warfare course progresses, it is expected that the Kenyan QRF and JWMTT will develop stronger bonds, exchange invaluable knowledge, and emerge as even 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. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of international partnerships in ensuring peace and stability in conflict-prone regions.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Brazilian Navy’s Niteroi-class frigate Liberal conducted naval exercises off the coast of West Africa as part of Guinex III, involving regional navies from countries such as Togo and Nigeria.
On September 7, the Liberal carried out at-sea manoeuvres with the Nigerian Navy’s tanks landing ship NNS Kada and patrol vessel NNS Kano, involving navigation, boarding, and other activities. The Liberal’s boarding team also embarked on the NNS Kada during the exercise.
Elsewhere, in March, the South African National Defence Force 4 SA Infantry Battalion (TF Charlie) carried out a training exercise to deploy to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Jungle Warfare Training Orientation (Exercise MADULO) is took place over a period of 16 February 2023 to 21 March 2023 at Thohoyandou, Entabeni Training Area. The soldiers trained hard, ensuring they are well equipped and fully prepared for the mission ahead.
Also, in April, the first batch of South Sudanese soldiers arrived in Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday. The group of at least 45 soldiers is joining a regional military force in the region.
The arrival of South Sudanese troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) marks an important milestone in the region’s peacekeeping efforts. On Sunday, a first batch of 45 South Sudanese soldiers arrived in Goma, the largest city in the region, to join the local military force. The deployment of these troops is an essential part of the United Nations’ strategy to help restore security, stability and peace in the region.