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Kopassus and the Legend of the “White Ghost” Troops in the Congo All

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Army Special Forces Command Corps (Kopassus) turns 70 today, Saturday (16 April 2022).

As a special force, Kopassus is required to have soldiers with high qualifications. They are given the task of carrying out special operations, forest warfare, unconventional warfare, counter intelligence, reconnaissance, direct attacks, psychological warfare, to counter terrorism.

Kopassus which was founded in 1952 by Alex Evert Kawilarang and Mochammad Idjon Djanbi was originally called the Army Command Troops Regiment (RPKAD). They have a distinctive red beret

Kopassus has also been involved in a number of military operations abroad. One of them was when asked by the United Nations (UN) to maintain peace in Congo in 1962.

At that time the condition of the Congo was filled with violence because a rebellion broke out.

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Finally, Indonesia sent the Kopassus team as a Garuda III contingent led by Lt. Gen. Kemal Idris to serve as the UN Peacekeeping Force.

While on duty, the Garuda III contingent was based in the Albertville area, Congo. In order for the task to run smoothly, Garuda III troops mingled with local residents, as quoted from Tribunnews.

On the sidelines of their duties as peacekeepers, Kopassus members also become cultural ambassadors by teaching how to cook Indonesian food.

This method made the relationship between Garuda III troops and the local population very close. In addition, local residents feel safe with Garuda III troops who secure the area from rebel groups.

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Because they had developed a sense of trust, the local residents also provided some information to the Garuda III troops. One of them is about potential attacks from rebel gangs.

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The prediction was proven. At one time a rebel group attacked the headquarters of Garuda III troops. The raid took place at midnight this evening.

Rebel troops who attacked the headquarters of Garuda III troops are estimated at 2,000 people. Meanwhile, Garuda III troops at the base were only 300 people.

Garuda III troops decided to hold on. Several soldiers were injured in the shootout. The attack ended before dawn.

Garuda III troops then prepared a strategy to counterattack.

As many as 30 members of Kopassus were chosen to be the team that preceded the attack on the rebels. They began to explore the area towards areas controlled by rebel groups.

They carried out the movement in three groups disguised as Congolese citizens. Their bodies are covered with charcoal while carrying vegetables or livestock, goats and cows.

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After arriving at the shore of a lake at sunset, the Kopassus troops in the team rested while planning an attack strategy.

The way the Kopassus troops conquered the rebel groups was quite clever. They use psychological warfare to frighten the enemy.

The attack operation took place at midnight. The Kopassus troops wrapped themselves in white cloth and boarded a number of black boats.

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The white cloth worn by the Kopassus troops fluttered in the night breeze. In addition, they also smear the body with garlic to add to the impression of being haunted.

It turned out that the Kopassus troops disguised themselves as ghosts to subdue the rebel troops. Because the militias apparently believed in superstitions and supernatural things like ghosts.

This tactic was used by Kopassus members to subdue the rebels.

This was proven when Kopassus members disguised as ‘white ghosts’ approached the entrance of the rebel camp. The militia could not move because they were afraid because they thought they had seen a ghost. Though the rebels have full weapons.

Kopassus troops then took control of the rebel headquarters within 30 minutes. About 3000 rebels surrendered.

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The precise operation carried out by the Garuda III contingent amazed the then Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Congo, Lt. Gen. Kadebe Ngeso.

The story of the success of 30 Kopassus troops who are members of the Garuda III Contingent amazed the Congolese citizens. Even the locals dub this “white ghost” troop with Les Spiritesses.

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