UN plans to send surveillance drones over eastern Congo to enhance intelligence gathering
The Security Council has approved the use of surveillance drones over eastern Congo to monitor roving militias so it can more effectively deploy U.N. peacekeepers.
A letter released Thursday from the president of the Security Council to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the council members note the robot spy planes will be used "on a case-by-case basis" and will not set a precedent for the U.N.'s general consideration of "legal, financial and technical implications of the use of unmanned aerial systems."
The letter from Pakistan U.N. Ambassador Masood Khan, who holds the rotating Security Council presidency, was released as a U.N. expert launched a special investigation into drone warfare and targeted killings, which the United States relies on as a front-line weapon in its global war against al-Qaida.
Civilian killings and injuries that result from drone strikes on suspected terrorist cells will be part of the focus of the investigation by British lawyer Ben Emmerson, the U.N. rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights. The U.N. said Emmerson will present his findings to the U.N. General Assembly later this year.