UN launches new fleet of drones in Congo to observe armed groups
A new drone forming part of the United Nation peacekeeping force in Goma, Congo, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Alain Wandimoyi)
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2013 12:25PM EST
KINSHASA, Congo - At a ceremony held at a pockmarked airport in Congo's troubled east, the United Nations launched the first of five drones which will be used to gather intelligence about the myriad armed groups still lurking in the nation's vast jungles.
United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous presided over the ceremony alongside Congo's minister of defence, calling the drones "an essential instrument ... both to observe armed groups and also to keep watch over civilians who are displaced or on the run due to the conflict."
Congolese Minister of Defence Luba Tambo added that the drones will play a critical role in helping patrol the nation's porous border with neighbouring Rwanda, which is accused of funneling arms and battalions of foot soldiers to the rebels in Congo.