Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


1st UN drone to be deployed in DRC in Nov

10 October 2013, 11:01

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 on Wednesday.

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.

Complaining the deal was never fully implemented, they mutinied in April 2012, turning their guns on their former comrades.

If the trial is successful in the DRC, where the drones will also monitor the borders with Rwanda and Uganda, they could also be used in South Sudan, Ivory Coast and in other UN missions.

The announcement came as the chief of the UN's peacekeeping force in the DRC, which has the unprecedented right to use deadly force against rebels groups in the country, said he had been made aware of a "disturbing" increase in manpower among the group.

"We have reports of the recruitment by force of young people in Rwanda," Martin Kobler said, potentially destined to join the rebels currently terrorising the Congolese population.

The UN accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels in eastern DRC, a charge the country has adamantly denied.

Neighbouring Rwanda was handed American sanctions last week for allegedly backing ethnic-Tutsi Congolese rebels who recruit child soldiers.

Kobler said he also had "irrefutable proof" that M23 rebels were acquiring more military equipment.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...