The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will greatly improve peacekeeping activities in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the head of UN peacekeeping operations. Hervé Ladsous, who spoke to reporters in New York on Wednesday, said UAVs—which he described as "basically a flying camera"—will only be used for surveillance.
He said in times of financial austerity worldwide, everything must be done to improve performance. "I would mention the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance purpose in the Kivus, which was given an okay by the Security Council. And that certainly will improve vastly our situational awareness and will, I am sure, exert some deterrents over all those people who move around with bad intentions in that particular area." (24 secs)
Ladsous said the information gathered by the UAVs will be given to the Force Commander at the UN peacekeeping mission in the country.
However, he added that it could also be shared with a regional body established under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.