To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many countries are involved in the training of the Congolese army; how many official languages are used in such training; what assessment he has made of the effect of the number of languages on the effectiveness of the training provided by the UN peacekeeping force in that country (MONUC); and if he will make a statement.
Ten countries, including the UK, US and China-and the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC)-are involved in training the Congolese army. Several countries from MONUC assist with training the more notable ones being Pakistan and India. MONUC are also just about to use Tanzanian troops which will train 12 Congolese Army (FARDC) Infantry battalions in the next year. This is part-funded by the UK who provided £400,000 for Barrack Infrastructure Repairs for the training camps.
We estimate that seven official languages are used in training. We recognise that language differences can hinder co-ordination; to respond to this the UK runs a 'peacekeeping English' course to ensure that the FARDC and MONUC can communicate effectively when working together. So far the UK has trained over 1,000 trainers, who can then go on to disseminate English teaching throughout the FARDC. We have also trained over 40 interpreters.