Goma, 12 June 2013 - The last batch of the Tanzanian troops committed to the Force Intervention Brigade arrived in Goma, North Kivu province, on 5 June 2013. They will be part of the 3,069 strong force, to which Malawi and South Africa are the other two contributing countries.
The creation of a Brigade with an aggressive mandate was stressed by the international community last year after the M23 occupied Goma momentarily in November 2012. The Intervention Brigade was recommended by the UN Security Council to neutralize the armed groups by conducting offensive unilateral or joint operation with the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC).
The Force Intervention Brigade, which is placed under the command of MONUSCO, includes three infantry battalions, one artillery company and a special force company. This Brigade is mobile, flexible and ready to conduct offensive operations in a versatile manner to neutralize armed groups, including the M23, in eastern DRC. Troops from Tanzania already started patrolling 24/7 in the town of Sake and on the axis leading to Goma.
"The brigade will conduct operations unilaterally or in support of the FARDC to provide a safe and secure environment to the Congolese people," Lieutenant-Colonel Félix Basse, MONUSCO military spokesperson, explained.
During his visit to Goma, the newly appointed Force Commander, General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, made clear that all his troops will have the same priority, which is the protection of civilians as stipulated by the mandate.
"I am ready to face the most difficult of scenarios,” General dos Santos Cruz said.
As recommended by the UN Security Council, the Force Intervention Brigade, which is headed by Brig General James Aloisi Mwakibolwa of Tanzania, is under the command of MONUSCO.
Clara Padovan/ MONUSCO