News of Rwanda (Kigali)

11 January 2013

Rwanda Prime Minister Challenges UN's Drones Use in DRC

The United Nations (UN) has been challenged over its recent proposal that it would use aerial Vehicles in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a suggestion that Rwanda's Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi said; it would be illogical.

While commenting through a public social media Twitter, The Prime Minister said "....UN in DRC does not need drones to do what it is supposed to do. Instead of spending on surveillance drones, it is more logical to invest in supporting the region's peacemaking efforts"

Bottom of FormDr. Habumuremyi also stated that the use of such military technology will not help the peace process in the country nor in the region and added that more issues should be considered in solving the conflict in the Eastern Congo.

"DRC need good will from leadership, good governance, respect of human rights for all citizens, including Rwandaphones not the use of drones" he noted.

The Prime Minister's comments come only three days after the government of Rwanda opposed a proposal that the United Nations had tabled on Tuesday 8th January 2013 to deploy a unit of surveillance aerial vehicles also known as Drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, arguing that "Africa must not become a laboratory for intelligence devices from overseas"

UN suggested that it intends to modernize its peacekeeping operations, and may deploy a fleet of its own drones both in Central and West Africa peacekeeping missions for the first time, only few days after Rwanda took its two year seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC).

According to UN officials in the Peacekeeping Department, at least three unarmed surveillance drones may be deployed in the eastern region of Congo, and such information has been communicated to DRC, Rwanda and Uganda governments.

Olivier Nduhungirehe, a Rwandan diplomat at the United Nations cautioned over such Hi-tech military use, saying the Drones could be used to collect intelligence information from "Kigali, Kampala, Bujumbura or the entire region." It is even feared that the unmanned drones might be armed, despite UN Officials assurance that there is no intention to arm the drones or to spy on countries that have not consented to their use.

Various governments from developing world in which Rwanda belongs fear that, the drones will open up a new intelligence-gathering front dominated by Western powers and potentially supersede African and Asian peacekeepers who now act as the United Nations' overseers on peace related missions.

The action is the first step in a broader bid to integrate unmanned aerial surveillance systems, which have become a standard feature of Western military operations, into the United Nations' far-flung peacekeeping domain.

In the 1990s, the United States and other major powers infiltrated the U.N. weapons inspection agency to surreptitiously collect intelligence on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's military; one of the reasons why Developing countries shun from any attempt of Drones hovering above their territories.

U.N. military planners say they see a need for drones in many other missions, including Darfur, Sudan and South Sudan, where the United Nations monitors tensions along the border of the two countries. But they acknowledged that they have little hope that Sudan would permit them.

The organization has ordered a feasibility study into their use in Ivory Coast along with the pending deployments in the Congo.

The said aerial vehicles equipped with infrared technology can detect troops hidden beneath forest canopy or operating at night, allowing them to track movements of armed militias, assist patrols heading into hostile territory and document atrocities. They are about 150 miles and are able to hover for up to 12 hours at a time.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs that are used by military in various ways including missile testing, air strikes, aerial refuelling, surveillance, transporting cargo, live-fire exercises and long-range bombing.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 News of Rwanda. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.