The United Nations peacekeeping force in Goma, in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officially unveiled its fleet of Selex ES Falco UAV in December 4. Up to five Falcos will be in action at any time, once the programme gets underway, though only two of the Italian-built models are currently operational,
This is the first time the UN has acquired UAVs, which they will use to monitor the activities and movements of the many militia groups in the east of the country.
Herve Ladsous, the UN under-secretary for peacekeeping operations told an invited audience on the Goma ramp,”The United Nations has entered the 21st century from the technological point of view,” and added “This is something we never had but this is now in use in many armies around the world and many organisations. I think we had to get it to allow our people to do a better job in the fulfilment of their mandates.”
After many years of criticism for their alleged inaction, the UN has now taken a more aggressive role in Congo’s conflict. A special UN intervention brigade was created in March, which was instrumental in helping defeat the M23 rebel group in October.