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 As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.