Taking Sandhurst to the DR Congo

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by fantassin, Nov 19, 2008.

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  1. Taking Sandhurst to the DR Congo

    By David Loyn
    International Development Correspondent, BBC News

    The Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch Brown, who has special responsibility for Africa, has opened an officer training school for the local army in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    "Training g'Gardez! HUH!" The barked commands rang out across the cracked concrete of a military training ground close to the churning roar of the Congo River.

    The orders were to call troops on parade for the ceremonial opening of an officer training school, designed to improve conditions in an army with a dreadful reputation for human rights abuses.

    Lord Malloch Brown has come on a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo at a time when there have been demands on Britain to send troops to the east of the country to quell the worsening violence.

    Opening the school, he said that that building up the capacity of the local army was a better investment than sending British troops.

    "It is what we have been trying to do in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is always the exit strategy of the international community from a failed state, that you need to make sure it can police and defend itself," he said.

    More at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7736640.stm

    Interesting development I think. Shows that all the talks of France wanting to "keep its sphere of influence" are currently groundless. Teaching English to the troops of a French speaking country speaks volume on that evolution.

    BTW, it's "Garde a vous", not "Gardez vous"...
  2. Looking at the pictures of the uniforms on parade, they could have done with taking fewer training officers and more DS Sergeants!
  3. Africans love to drill and they can be quite good (if colourful) at that. Instilling pride is important but the problem is that with many of them it soon turns into arrogance and then violence against the civilian populace.
  4. It is part of the exit strategy to train the security forces. But equally important is training the civil administration. If that part of the state remains weak, corrupt and instable we've gained very little.

    I'm not very optimistic about the future of the DR Congo. There several conflicts all fought by different groups and for different reasons with various neighbouring countries poking in once in a while. I still think the international community should take a tougher stand towards Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Sudan.
  5. this smacks a bit of the argument a la strict borstal...you get well-disciplined, fit and aggressive criminals in place of the slackers you originally had! A military culture of social responsibility and civic duty is not merely produced by some well trained cadres of military personnel. There is a hooks and eyes argument too, societies tend to get the military they deserve in general.