US backs UN move to use drones in DR Congo
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 09:23
  
Washington: The US on Thursday said that it supports the move at the UN to use drones in countries having peacekeeping missions, particular in the case of Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The United States does support the UN's proposal to use unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles, for example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to increase the surveillance capacity of the UN peacekeeping operation -- MONUSCO there," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"The DRC government has also welcomed the UN's request. We're also looking at other missions where this might be possible," she said.

In response to a question, Nuland said this is the idea that the UN peacekeeping authorities are putting forward to have unarmed UAVs participate in peacekeeping missions.

"This would only happen with the consent of the country or the countries where the mission would operate, and their use would not impact in any way on sovereignty. Again, they would be unarmed, and they would only be carrying photographic equipment," Nuland said.

"We think that building on MONUSCO's surveillance capacity will better enable it to protect civilians and will support the efforts of the DRC to restore stability in the eastern part of the country," she said in response to a question.

"The idea from the UN's perspective, obviously, is for this to be for photo surveillance, so you want to make it as cost-effective as possible" Nuland said.

"If we can move forward on this UN proposal to use drones, then that (Uganda) could be another place where they might be useful, the unarmed, unmanned...," she added when asked about the use of drones in Uganda as was reflected by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 09:23


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