News / USA

UN to Investigate Drone Attacks

Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft (drone).Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft (drone).
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Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft (drone).
Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft (drone).
VOA News
The United Nations has launched an investigation into the use of unmanned drone strikes and targeted killings in counterterrorism operations.

The probe will investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. It also will focus on civilian killings and injuries caused by the strikes.

British lawyer Ben Emmerson, the U.N. special envoy on counterterrorism and human rights, will carry out the probe.

Emmerson says the use of drone technology is "here to it stay," adding it is imperative that "appropriate legal and operational structures are urgently put in place to regulate its use."

Locations where U.N. is investigating drone strikesLocations where U.N. is investigating drone strikes
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Locations where U.N. is investigating drone strikes
Locations where U.N. is investigating drone strikes
Most attacks by unmanned drones have been carried out by the United States.  Israel has used them and other nations have access to the technology.  

Pakistan was one of three countries that requested the investigation, condemning U.S. drone strikes on targets along its border with Afghanistan.  Pakistan says the strikes not only violate its sovereignty, but that collateral damage is fueling militancy in the region.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council Thursday approved the use of unmanned surveillance drones over eastern Congo to monitor militias.  The council said the drones would be deployed on what it calls a "case by case" basis.

Last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked the Council to consider using unmanned aerial systems to permit timely decision-making in dealing with M23 rebels in eastern Congo.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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Comments
     
by: John
January 25, 2013 6:01 PM
I would certainly sympathise with Pakistan's concern over its sovereignity, provided it did not similarly conduct raids into Afghanistan. The fact is that as the power of the West declines, the world is reverting to normal, with raids again becoming part of the global environment. The US has very sensibly mechanised and automated its share of the killing.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 24, 2013 10:24 PM
Drones do not have an onboard pilot, a human pilot operates them remotely. The remote human pilot has go/no-go control elements, wrt operations, as if the pilot was onboard. Essentially, they are a much cheaper and smaller aircraft to build and operate, because they do not need to be loaded with all the human safety systems.
As far as casualties are concerned, if the same missile is fired with an on-board piloted aircraft, under the same situational characteristics, the casualties would be the same. The right to engage terrorists in an area in which a formal state no longer has absolute security control should never be denied. If targeting errors are made, due process is required = investigations/ responsibilities/ obligations and.. Full compensation to innocent victimes provided.
In my opinion, UN involvement can only serve to denigrate the program, assist the propaganda efforts of the terrorists, lessen/ cutail the effectiveness of the drone program, and increase the chances of terrorist continuing in their dastardly missions.

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