The Italian military in Ukraine: “To defend the embassy in Kiev also the paràs of Tuscania and the special group”

Interview with Carabinieri general Nicola Conforti: “Our task will be to strengthen the stability of Ukraine”. The mission of the international task force on war crimes begins

ROME – Guarding theItalian embassy in Kiev in the most difficult moment in European history from the post-war period to today. “Like Baghdad and Tripoli, now also in the Ukrainian capital there are also personnel of the 2nd Mobile Brigade of the Carabinieri, which includes, in addition to the 7th and 13th Regiments, also the” Tuscania “Parachute Regiment and the Special Intervention Group ( Gis) », explains the brigadier general Nicola Confortideputy head of the II Department of the General Command that deals with the foreign projection of the weapon.

At 167 years of the first employment of a contingent in the Crimea, ironically, with police duties in Constantinople, the carabinieri returned to Ukraine and now they will take part with the Ris specialists in the European task force at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which investigates Russian war crimes.

A new challenge for departments on mission which today, in the ceremony for the 208th anniversary of the Arma Foundation in Tor di Quinto, will receive important awards, in addition to the gold medal for the flag for their commitment to environmental protection, and the one in memory of Vittorio Iacovacci
the soldier killed in 2021 in the ambush in Congo in which the Italian ambassador also lost his life Luca Attanasio

General, this tragedy has highlighted your role in diplomatic posts.

«The security of the Italian embassies is one of the main tasks assigned to the weapon on an exclusive basis. A commitment that is not without dangers, as unfortunately witnessed by the killing of Carabiniere Iacovacci last year. The period of stay is about 3-4 years, unlike the reinforcement contingents which are alternated about every 6 months ».

Apart from Ukraine where are you operating at the moment?
“The signing of a technical cooperation agreement in the training field with the Mexican National Guard, a police force with a military nature established in 2019 on the model of the Weapon, dates back to 6 May and where a our officer as advisor. Over time, we have acquired skills in support of the development of the security forces of countries of pre-eminent national strategic interest on the basis of protocols and international technical agreements signed by the Commander General, delegated by the Chief of the Defense Staff. As in Rwanda, where a senior officer has been deployed since 2017 as advisor to the Inspector General of the National Police. We have had a similar job in Moldova where for over 3 years a colonel from the Arma has provided advice and assistance for the reorganization of their carabinieri ».

What is your main feature?
“To be a solid reference for the international community, promoting the original concept of stability policing of which the weapon was a precursor: the ability to restore, in countries where institutions are inefficient or collapsed due to crisis situations, of safe and orderly coexistence, training and supporting the local police forces. Without a doubt, the stability police is the capacity that distinguishes the added value of the weapon, making it unique on the international scene ».

How many carabinieri are currently on mission abroad?
“About a thousand. Also in Niger, Djibouti, Somalia, Palestine. We focus on quality rather than quantity of operators who, even with language refresher courses, manage to integrate with the local community ».

Does the Arma therefore invest a lot in projection abroad?
«Of course, the proof is the Vicenza international hub which has hosted the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Unit since 2005. Also there are the headquarters of the European Gendarmerie and the NATO Center of Excellence for the stability police: we have trained 12 thousand peacekeepers from 115 countries and 17 international organizations, but we also bring our know-how “at home”. Security evolves, we must always be ready ».

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