News / Africa

    US Supports UN Surveillance Drones For Eastern Congo

    VOA News
    U.S. officials say Washington supports the request of United Nations peacekeepers to use surveillance drones in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that these aerial vehicles would be unmanned and unarmed and their use could extend to other missions.

    "This is the idea that the U.N. peacekeeping authorities are putting forward to have unarmed UAVs participate in peacekeeping missions.  This would only happen with the consent of the country or the countries where the mission would operate and their use would not impact in any way on sovereignty.  Again, they would be unarmed and they would only be carrying photographic equipment.  The United States does support the U.N.'s proposal to use unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles.  We're also looking at other missions where this might be possible.  We think that building on MONUSCO surveillance capacity will better enable it to protect civilians and will support the efforts of the DRC to restore stability in the eastern part of the country," Nuland said.

    In a closed-door session Tuesday, United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous appealed to the U.N. Security Council for drones to help the more than 17,000 peacekeepers in the DRC.

    Rebels briefly took control of the eastern city of Goma late last year after fighting with peacekeepers and the Congolese army.

    Fellow council members Britain and France also agree with the use of drones.  A spokesman for France's mission to the United Nations said on Twitter the U.N. force needs "modern assets, including drones, to be better informed and more reactive."

    However, Rwanda -- which borders eastern Congo -- raised concerns about the deployment of drones, saying the move would make the U.N. mission a "belligerent" force.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is preparing a report recommending ways to improve the U.N. mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, which is the world body's largest peacekeeping force.

    The U.N. mission began operating in the DRC in 1999 monitoring a cease-fire deal that followed a rebellion in which rebels seized large areas of the country.  It continues under a mandate to protect civilians and humanitarian workers, and to support the government's peace and stabilization efforts.

    You May Like

    Video US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: oxenone@ymail.com from: Mars
    January 09, 2013 6:07 PM
    That will be great technology to add to the statements and sanctions-which are not enough. UN needs to show its level/power (world class) and monitor these rebel groups until they have no where to hide. The rebel groups have terrorized DRC for long for very selfish reasons. The mandate show be such that is also allows swift strikes if a rogue group adamantly fires at peace keepers, refuses to dis-arm and threats or attacks the population with attacks. The leadership and supporting regimes all should be very closely watched to collect evidence for ICC and also as a deterrent for the continued hegemony of arming and supporting various militia to help plunder Congo resources.
    That is the only way to hammer sanity into these regional militias-Big Eye in the Sky and remote controlled instant action dangerous elements to the population. UN. SADC can do the job, and then DRC must be held accountable and must organize herself with UN/SADC supervision/help within in a reasonable time frame, e.g a couple of years(e.g 10 years!)
    In Response

    by: Margaret S. Maringa from: Baltimore (US)
    January 10, 2013 12:17 AM
    The ancestors had a pithy observation:"Kiguuta kigwatagia muro" the lazy man blames his hoe for the poor harvest.........then shifts the blame towards GOD for not bringing the big rains...........before finally blaming his neighbours for throwing witchcraft across the fence.

    It is totally depressing to see the UN and its super-backers swallowing exactly the same "poor harvest" sixty-plus years after the original Congo crisis.

    Encouraging and supporting the peaceful (orderly) decentralisation of the governance system (not the deployment of big-brother drones) is the simple aspirin necessary to heal this heart of Africa.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora