European Peace Facility: Council adopts an assistance measure in support of the 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Council today adopted an assistance measure, worth €20 million, under the European Peace Facility to support the 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). The support will be implemented by the Belgian Ministry of Defence. Through its own armed forces, Belgium is already training the brigade which will benefit from this support. This 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade is active in Eastern DRC and the EU support will strengthen the capabilities and resilience of the FARDC in a region marked by the presence of more than one hundred armed groups.

Through this assistance measure, the EU will provide basic, non-lethal individual equipment, such as commando kits, first aid kits and clothing, and collective equipment, such as counter-IED kits, vehicles and radios, for the 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade of the FARDC. The assistance measure will also support the rehabilitation of the brigade’s headquarters.

As for any support under the European Peace Facility, the assistance measure entails a set of controls, safeguards and monitoring measures notably designed to ensure the brigade’s adequate use of the equipment and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.

Background and next steps

The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defence areas, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of third states and regional and international organisations as regards military and defence matters.