Selex Drones On UN Peacekeeping Mission Over DR Congo

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:47 PM, December 3, 2013
  • 2539
Selex Drones On UN Peacekeeping Mission Over DR Congo
Selex Drones On UN Peacekeeping Mission Over DR Congo

Selex ES, a subsidiary Finmeccanica, will supply two drones to be used by UN Peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United Nations on Tuesday said it would start using surveillance drones to monitor the volatile border between DR Congo and Rwanda and movements by militias and armed groups.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous is in Goma, the major city in eastern DR Congo, to "preside over the launch of unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles" on Tuesday, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The drones would be "an important tool to assist the mission in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians", Nesirky added. 

With two already on order, upto five could be in operation in the country after trials are completed.

General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, military commander of the UN mission, MONUSCO, said last month that by March or April there would be a 24 hour drone surveillance operation in eastern DR Congo. 

The Ivory Coast government has also said it would like the UN to use the surveillance drones to monitor its borders, according to reports. The commanders of other peacekeeping missions, such as in South Sudan, have also said they would like to see drones used there. 

Mali maybe another territory to embrace UN aerial surveillance only a month after the Netherlands sent dozens of intelligence operatives to the country.

The Dutch unit will concentrate on electronic spying on the Islamic militants who sought to take over Mali this year, diplomats said. 

"They will also engage in traditional espionage through human contacts. It is really a necessary change for the UN," said one UN diplomat concentrating on military affairs.

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