The unprecedented deployment of an unarmed surveillance drone by U.N. peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been delayed several months due to procurement procedures, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said on Thursday.
The United Nations has procured an unarmed surveillance drone from Italian defense electronics firm Selex ES, a unit of Finmeccanica, that was due to be deployed in the volatile eastern Congo during August.
“There has been some delay much to my chagrin but these have to do with the rules that member states have made upon us as far as procurement is concerned,” peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told a news conference. “Now the goal is definitely for the first days of December.”
It will be the first time the United Nations has used such equipment and, if the trial surveillance use by peacekeepers in eastern Congo is successful, officials and diplomats also hope the drones could be used by missions in Ivory Coast and South Sudan.
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