24 Nov 2012

UN wants drones in DR Congo conflict

6:03 am on 24 November 2012

The United Nations wants to use drones to monitor fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where M23 rebels have taken over much of North Kivu province.

The UN says Rwanda and Uganda have sent troops and arms across the border. Both strongly deny the allegations.

UN peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer told AFP on Friday that the use of drones for monitoring the movements of armed groups is being considered.

"Of course, we would do this carefully, in full cooperation with the government of the DR Congo," he said.

AAP reports the UN has about 17,500 troops in DR Congo, which could be raised about 19,500 under a mandate from the Security Council .

The UN has approached a number of countries, including the United States and France, about providing drones said a UN diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. But not all countries agreed with this, said another.