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Rwanda Opposes Use of Drones in East DRC
Published on 9-01-2013 - at 03:11' by IGIHE Reporter

Rwanda says it does not want Africa to become a laboratory for foreign intelligence devices.

The complaint was made Tuesday in protest against the proposed use of surveillance drones in East DRC.

The U.N mission in the DRC plans to deploy 3 unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in the country’s conflict-torn eastern provinces.

Rwanda insists there should be a full assessment of the use of Drones making clear it considered the call for deploying drones premature.

Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s deputy U.N. ambassador, told journalists,"It is not wise to use a device on which we don’t have enough information."

"Africa shall not become a laboratory for intelligence devices from overseas."

Diplomats said the Rwandan delegation informed the Security Council behind closed doors on Tuesday that MONUSCO would be a "belligerent" if it deployed drones in eastern Congo now.

Nduhungirehe explained this position, saying it was vital to know before deploying drones what the implications would be for individual countries’ sovereignty.

He said Rwanda had no problem with helicopters, night-vision equipment or other high-tech gadgetry for the U.N. peacekeeping force.

Other diplomats, including some from Europe, have also expressed reservations.

They said there were unanswered questions about who would receive the information from the drones and how widely it would be disseminated.

They expressed discomfort at the idea of the United Nations becoming an active gatherer of intelligence.

Russia and China are among the nations on the council that have concerns about the deployment of drones in eastern Congo, diplomats told journalists.

Western diplomats from countries that support the deployment of drones say Rwanda’s opposition is the first manifestation of the difficulties they expect to face over Congo while Rwanda is on the Security Council for the next two years.

additional reporting Reuters

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