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UN launches its first drones to monitor violence in eastern Congo

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US Drone
US Drone

United Nations forces launched surveillance drones for the first time this week in an effort to track potential violence on the Democratic Republic of Congo's war-torn easternmost borders. According to Reuters, the Selex ES-manufactured Falco UAVs will be deployed from the city of Goma, the largest city in eastern Congo, from which Selex staff will watch for armed groups crossing into the country from nearby Rwanda and Uganda. The region only a month ago saw the defeat of the rebel group M23, whose year-long siege of Goma left a UN peacekeeper dead this past July. Peace talks are currently underway.

"The drones... will allow us to have reliable information about the movement of populations in the areas where there are armed groups," UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous said yesterday. "We will survey the areas where there are armed groups, and we can control the frontier." According to Al Jazeera, current president of the UN security council Gérard Araud went on to say that the UN plans on using more drones in the future.