KINSHASA: The first in a fleet of United Nations drones will begin monitoring rebel activity on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo next month, a UN commander said yesterday.
General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, commander with the UN peacekeeping brigade in the country, said the unarmed drone would be airborne by the last week of November.
“The initial base to operate the aerial vehicle will be in Goma, and for five months we are going to increase the equipment,” he said. The brigade hopes to have surveillance 24 hours a day by “March or April”, he added.
The United Nations said in August it had ordered its first surveillance drones from an Italian company to patrol the volatile eastern region, centred around the flashpoint city of Goma.
The drones’ target will be the activities of the M23 movement, founded by former Tutsi rebels who were incorporated into the Congolese army under a 2009 peace deal.