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The newest Intervention Brigade in DRC is reported to be making huge advances in helping the country free itself from conflict and the control of rebel groups over the precious resources in the country. The intervention brigade has been earning the trust and confidence of locals as they continue to work alongside UN peacekeeping forces of the MONUSCO operation. The implementation of this force could be early signs of a greater and unified African effort to combat rebel extremists on the continent.

The intervention brigade is made up of both South African and Tanzanian forces looking that have been helping to bring down and eliminate rebel forces in the country. This has all been done whilst working together with DRC government forces that have lacked the proper authority for so many years due to a lack of proper equipment. Not only that but they along with UN peacekeepers have been able to provide a greater number of armed forces protecting the country in the wake of reports of hundreds of DRC soldiers defecting to the rebel forces who have taken hold of key areas in the country in recent months and years.

The new brigade of African-based soldiers has been a greater source of comfort for many civilians in the country who for so long have had to rely on the intervention from exterior forces such as the UN to instil an element of control. The M23 rebel group have been identified as the main threat currently facing these armed forces and in recent months reports suggest that the intervention brigade have enjoyed great success in disbanding and eliminating M23 strongholds around the capital Kinshasa and in the surrounding towns.

The plans for this African intervention brigade stretch quite a long way back. As far back as March this year plans and strategies were already being considered. Not only that but in the most recent AU (African Union) Summit South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma argued a strong case for the swift deployment of African forces to the DRC. This culminated in the long-term plans for the intervention being significantly sped up.

Only last week members of the UN Security Council visited Goma in DRC as part of their tour of the Great Lakes region. The UN report on the situation stated that, after speaking to commanding officers of the intervention brigade and their counterparts in the Congolese armed forces, significant inroads had been made in scattering and neutralizing large-scale and immediate threats from the M23 forces around the country.

As well as speaking to the soldiers directly involved in the combat on rebel forces, they had spoken to victims of the violence and smaller individual security forces aiding the Congolese army. This is what the 15-member Security Council’s report read: –
“From the security perspective the various commanders characterised the joint operation in late August a success.
“It was the first aggressive posture deployed by the Intervention Brigade and it effectively pushed back the M23. In addition, it boosted the confidence of Congolese Armed Forces”.

It seems then that the Africa Union can look on the efforts currently being made right now in DRC as a double success. What it is showing on the surface is a true authority being characterised by African forces and Congolese Forces starting to instate itself alongside the support being shown by the UN. The confidence that the UN report seems to emanate is credit to the great effort clearly being made by those in power in DRC and their allies in the region to co-operate and unite in one strong and undeniable cause to free their people from further conflict and bloodshed.

Not only that but at the time such efforts by fellow African nations as well as those fighting within and for DRC is rapidly increasing a lot of confidence within the hierarchy of the continent and the silent majority of people living in Africa. It is showing the first signs of an independence and authority in a region of Africa that has been plagued for so long with corruption and violence over precious naturel resources.

I doesn’t some too farfetched then I don’t think to say that these could be the first small steps and signs of success that start to give those all over Africa a greater confidence and belief in their own people fighting for a huge cause that, in-time, could lead to a strong, successful, and unified Africa.

ROBERT PRITCHARD