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Being part of peace peacekeeping operations is not new to the Brazilian armed forces. The news came as the UN Security Council decided to send a stabilization mission to Haiti in 2004 and appointed Brazil as principal agent of mission, coordinating and directing the actions.
Brazil remains in command of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) and has assumed another role which has further increased the international credibility of Brazil: the command, since 2011, the Maritime Task Force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Task Force is composed of 800 military from 33 countries, 11 ships, and is designed to monitor the arms embargo and train cadres of the Lebanese Navy.
Another important challenge for Brazil came in 2013, when General Carlos Alberto Santos Cruz assumed overall command of the largest and most important UN Peacekeeping mission, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa.
There were 22 thousand men from 20 different countries, with a new task in UN history: for the first time, the "blue helmets" were allowed to attack the insurgents and irregular armies operating in the region.
The task became even more complicated because General Santa Cruz was the only Brazilian in the unit, unprecedented in missions of this kind. The success of the mission in defeating and obtaining the surrender of the March 23 Movement (M23) reflected credit on General Santa Cruz and on Brazil.
Because of its increasingly constant presence in this type of action, the Lula government created in 2010, the Joint Peace Operations Center of Brazil, at the Military Base in Rio de Janeiro. The center specializes in preparing Brazilian and foreign military personnel that will leave for UN missions.