Two more battalions of national troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have completed training on military tactics, weapons handling, logistics and professional ethics, provided by the United Nations peacekeeping force in the vast African nation.
Some 1,800 soldiers serving with the national armed forces, known as FARDC, received the three-month training which was conducted in South Kivu province by members of the Pakistani contingent with the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC).
“This training contributes to the progressive improvement of the professional capacities of the FARDC, with greater cohesion in its units, a marked republican ethos, as well as the example given by its officers,” Alan Doss, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC, said at a ceremony to mark the completion of the programme.
“The implication of MONUC in the training of the FARDC constitutes a major advance of the United Nations in the reform of the DRC security sector,” he added.
Mr. Doss, who is also head of the UN mission, also remarked on the “profitable collaboration between the chiefs of staff of the MONUC military and of the Congolese Armed Forces,” before congratulating the soldiers, who also received training in human rights, child protection, the Geneva conventions and MONUC’s mandate.
So far MONUC has trained 12 FARDC integrated battalions, and it continues to support the efforts of the Congolese Government in the creation of a professional army, with the goal of training 28 FARDC integrated battalions by September 2009.
The UN mission is authorized by the Security Council to work closely with the Congolese Government in the reform of the security sector, in order to consolidate the peace process and the economic development of the country.