The Brazilian Army participates in the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Thirteen officers and sergeants from the Brazilian Army will be active in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) beginning in June. Among the objectives of the mission are the protection of civilians, the stabilization of the country, provide support for the implementation of peace, security, and cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the neighboring countries.

Currently, MONUSCO involves more than 1.3 thousand police and 4 thousand civil agents operating in the country, as well as 16 thousand military personnel under the leadership of General Elias Martins Filho, the Brazilian Force Commander.

Specialized in jungle operations

With headquarters in Manaus, the Center of instruction for war in the jungle (CIGS, in Portuguese) prepares Brazilian military personnel to deal with the hardships and dangers of the situations in a jungle. Besides that, they are learning about planning offensive and defensive operations, coordination, and cooperation with agencies and resistance combat to stabilize the country.

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The Center also provides an international course on jungle operations. They have already participated in military courses in Germany, Bolivia, Canada, China, Spain, the United States, India, Japan, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Vietnam.

The Brazilian Force Commander

Elias Rodrigues Martins Filho, Brazilian Army General, is the force commander for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) since April 2018, when he was officially nominated by António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN).

The general Elias Rodrigues Martins Filho in mission with other officials from Congo and the UN (Photo: MONUSCO)

His history of working with the UN began in 1995 when he participated in the United Nations Angola Verification Missions III. Afterward, he acted as the military counselor in the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the U.N., in New York; negotiator for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, and in the department of Maintenance of International Peace and Security.

The military General also acted as the Deputy Chief for the International Organisms of Strategic Affairs of the Ministry of Defense before taking over the position in MONUSCO.

“The situation in Congo has become increasingly complex due to the enormity of the illegal guerrilla armed groups active in the country. There have been studies showing the existence of over 200 armed guerrilla groups in the country,” he explains. “I understand that this means increased prestige for Brazil and recognition of the quality of the Brazilian military services,” he states.