General Enock Ntonya: "We do a lot, every day, for the return of peace to eastern DRC".
"Contrary to what some people think, we do a lot, every day, and even outside the Beni region, for peace to return to eastern DRC".
General Enock Ntonya, outgoing commander of the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade (FIB), made this statement on Friday, September 8, 2023, minutes before leaving Beni for Goma, from where he flew back to his country, Malawi.
The officer believes that most of the actions of MONUSCO's Intervention Brigade are not known to the public, nor can they be.
"We have achieved a great deal. Our troops don't sleep. Day and night, they are always in the field. As I speak, our troops have been operating in Ituri province for three or four weeks. They are there to track down the armed groups. The population is unaware of this unless they are told. And yet, in our profession, not everything can be told, so as not to aid the enemy", he explained.
Daily actions, with or without the FARDC and the population
General Enock Ntonya, who says he is proud of his mandate, also praises the collaboration he has enjoyed from the Congolese army and local populations during his tenure at the head of the FIB. For him, without this collaboration, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to win the war against the armed groups that roam the region.
"We have carried out many activities and operations jointly with the FARDC, but also with local communities. We had planned several attack operations against the ADF rebels, not only in Beni territory, but also in Ituri province. We have done a great deal to advance the cause of peace in this region, and this has only been possible thanks to good coordination and cooperation with the FARDC and the local population", he emphasized.
Continue trusting the defense and security forces
While General Ntonya says he understands the criticism of some people in relation to the activism of armed groups, he urges the population not to lose heart. And, more importantly, to strengthen their collaboration with the security forces and MONUSCO.
While discouraging any collaboration with the enemy, he urges the population to communicate alerts in real time.
"My message to the population is to ask them to trust us and support us by giving us accurate information. Sometimes, the ADF make incursions into remote villages and we don't have the information. But if the population sees a suspicious movement by these people and alerts us, we can react quickly. We must support each other," he said.
He added: "Give us the support we want and we'll defend you better. I believe that if we continue working closely together: communities, chiefs, authorities, FARDC, MONUSCO, everything will be easy, because information is power. Give us the right information, not the wrong information, so that we can plan operations to neutralize these armed groups".
The Malawian General is leaving the DRC after spending 14 months as commander of MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). Pending his replacement, command of the FIB will be assumed by his deputy, South African colonel Johannes Kwena Moraka.
The FIB is made up of troops from five countries - South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya and Nepal - who provide command on a rotating basis for twelve months running.