Seven peacekeepers arrived in Congo on Saturday to serve in the UN mission in the war-ravaged central African country.
The team, comprised of members of the Corps of Engineers, joined soldiers from the Garuda XX-I division. Both will work under Monusco, the UN Mission for the Stabilisation of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The team was welcomed by Col. Sapto Widhi Nugroho, the head of the Indonesian team there, and other TNI officers at Dungu Camp in the country’s northeast.
The Helly Task Force, as the team is called, is in the country to determine the best place for the deployment of a helicopter team to assist the work of Monusco.
The task force is headed by vice Adm. Budihardja Raden.
After being briefed on the security situation in Congo, the work already done by the Indonesian contingent and what needs to be done in the future, the team spoke with UN officials from the air force, before visiting the helicopter sites at Dungu airport.
They toured the entire camp and inspected heavy machinery.
Budihardja, after thanking the local team for the welcome, called on his men to continue to work hard.
“The journey is still long, so keep your spirits high, abide by the Seven Principles, the Oath of Soldiers and the Eight Obligations of the Indonesian Armed Forces, and also keep in touch with your families in Indonesia,” he said.
Budihardja also said that barring any obstacles, the helicopter team would arrive in Dungu by the end of the year replacing an Indian team that is scheduled to return home.
Indonesia has been contributing peacekeepers for the United Nations in its operation in Congo since 2003.
Congo, which is about the size of India or Western Europe, has been plagued by wars that have led to some of the worst mass atrocities since World War II. At least 4.5 million people have died in the conflicts since 1996.