KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A top United Nations peacekeeping official says a new fleet of drones will be used to patrol Congo’s troubled east, where one rebel group was recently disarmed, but many more continue to occupy the area’s thick jungles.
U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, in Congo for the maiden voyage of the five drones, said the unmanned aircraft will be “an essential tool” in the peacekeeping mission’s military plan. Now that the M23 rebel group has been defeated, he said the U.N. needs to turn its attention to other rebel militias operating in eastern Congo.
After years of criticism for alleged inaction, the U.N. has taken a more aggressive role in Congo’s conflict, and a special U.N. brigade was instrumental in helping to defeat the M23 rebel group last month.
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The file photo above shows an unmanned drone like the kind the UN at one point requested to fly over Iraq.