U.N. Wants to Use Drones in DR Congo Conflict
[An Nahar] The United Nations
| Do they, indeed. How... unexpected.|
...an international organization whose stated aims of facilitating interational security involves making sure that nobody with live ammo is offended unless it's a civilized country...
wants to use drones for the first time to monitor fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
...formerly the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, and who knows what else, not to be confused with the Brazzaville Congo or
Republic of Congo, which is much smaller and much more (for Africa) stable. DRC gave the world Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Mobutu, followed by years of tedious civil war. Its principle industry seems to be the production of corpses. With a population of about 74 million it has lots of raw material...
, where Rwanda has been accused of aiding rebels, officials said Friday.
Drones are only "against international law" when we use them...
Peacekeeping chiefs have been in contact with the governments of DR Congo and of Rwanda about the sensitive move, which could set a precedent that would worry other United Nations members, diplomats said.
U.N. leaders are looking for ways to strengthen their peacekeeping mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, where guerrillas from the M23 rebel movement have taken over much of mineral-rich North Kivu province.
U.N. experts say Rwanda and Uganda have sent troops and arms across the border. Both strongly deny the allegations.
The U.N. "is considering a range of ways to strengthen the capabilities of MONUSCO to protect civilians from the threat of gangs in the vast area of eastern DR Congo," U.N. peacekeeping front man Kieran Dwyer told AFP.
"Unarmed aerial vehicles, drones for monitoring the movements of gangs, are one tool we are considering," he said.
"Of course, we would do this carefully, in full cooperation with the government of the DR Congo, and trialing their most effective uses for information gathering to help implement our mandate to protect civilians."
"Ultimately, to introduce these, we would need the support of member states to equip the mission," Dwyer said.
While the drones would not halt the current M23 advance, the U.N. is also considering bringing in extra troops and redeploying its current force. U.N. leader the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
is to recommend options to the U.N. Security Council soon.
MONUSCO currently has about 17,500 troops but could go up to about 19,500 under its Security Council mandate.
Posted by: Fred 2012-11-24