Russian military will go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Drapeau de la RDC

For the past month, rumours about the deployment of Russian soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been circulating in various media and social networks. Some sources confirm, others deny, the details of the military agreement between Russia and the DRC. However, the security situation in the DRC continues to deteriorate alarmingly.

Several incidents only serve to reinforce the need for security: fighting between pro-government militias and M23 rebels on the outskirts of Sake, the last stronghold before Goma, the capital of North Kivu and the region’s main town. The group’s offensive has already displaced more than 100,000 refugees. In addition, the armed group ADF (Allied Democratic Forces), linked to the Islamic State group operating in the east of the country near the border with Uganda, has killed 12 civilians. Rising insecurity in Kimpese, in the west of the DRC, also led to violent demonstrations in early February this year.

With the withdrawal of the MONUSCO contingent from Congo and the process of replacing the UN mission with troops from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), security issues are becoming critical.

The MONUSCO mission, like many other UN missions on the continent, has not been up to the task during its many years in the DRC. For their part, the SADC troops have already suffered losses in Goma and North Kivu. The transitional process of changing military contingents is also having a negative impact on the combat capability and effectiveness of all units.

This is why, taking into account all the events, the changes in military contingents and the deteriorating situation in the country, the General Staff of the DRC army has decided to involve units from the Wagner group in the fight against the rebels in the east of the country. Russian SMP fighters are known for their efficiency and ability to make quick decisions, so they have already begun to take part in combat operations. Some Russian specialists were quickly transferred from the neighbouring Central African Republic. The cooperation has already borne fruit: joint action by the armed forces of the DRC and Russian soldiers led to the elimination of the ADF commander nicknamed BagDad.