It was with a sense of “you are the pride of Portugal”, that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said goodbye to 110 Portuguese soldiers who are going to the Central African Republic, in the tenth national force deployed to a UN Minusca mission. ) Immune to controversy, the President of the Republic guaranteed that the reputation of the military “remains intact”.
Despite the controversy of recent weeks, with soldiers accused of trafficking in diamonds, gold and drugs from the Central African Republic and money laundering, according to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, whatever the number of cases, nothing pinches the Republic of Portugal.
Whether “one two, three, four, ten cases that exist”, as the President said, “military personnel on missions” will not be harmed. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa referred, however, that crimes, if they exist, “must be punished in an exemplary manner”.
“The cases that will be punished are not thousands of soldiers in international missions. There have already been two thousand in the Central African Republic, in consecutive missions. This reputation is not attainable, it remains intact,” he guaranteed.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also assumed that the Portuguese military “are one of the best”, and that the heads of state of various countries recognize the value of Portuguese troops.
“Everyone says that the Portuguese are the best. And it has been like this for nine missions, this is a tenth mission. I heard this from African heads of state, and from other continents, they recognize that we are, in so many situations, irreplaceable”, he added .
The President of the Republic also stood out as characteristics of the Portuguese military, who demonstrate “professionalism, competence, preparations, knowledge of the terrain, sensitivity, bravery, mutual help and solidarity”.
In the opinion of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, an independent company in Portugal remains “intact”, due to the commitment of each of the Portuguese military. 110 are now leaving Portugal for the Central African Republic for Portugal’s biggest mission abroad.
The military joins 70 of the Advanced Detachment, who departed for the territory on 26 October. The contingent will be composed of 180 soldiers, mainly Commando special troops, from the Portuguese Army.
The mission will last six months, with the military returning to Portugal in May 2022. Minusca da aims to “support the international community in the reform of the State security sector, contributing to the security and stabilization” of the Central Republic. African.