UN approves use of drones in DR Congo

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The United Nations Security Council has given the green light for peacekeepers to use surveillance drones in Democratic Republic of Congo after weeks of delay by Russia, China and Rwanda over the use of aerial spy equipment.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote to the 15-member council late last month to advise that peacekeepers in Congo planned to use unmanned aerial systems in dealing with a nine-month insurgency by M23 rebels in the east.

In a response to Mr Ban, the president of the council for January, Pakistan’s Masood Khan, said the body had taken note of the plans, effectively approving them. But the council also noted it would be a trial use “in line with the intention to use assets to enhance situational awareness on a case-by case basis,” Mr Khan wrote in a 22 January letter released yesterday.