UN surveillance drone crashes in Congo

(FILES) - Picture taken on December 3, 2One of the unmanned surveillance drones belonging to the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Congo DR. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A United Nations surveillance drone has been damaged after sliding off the runway while trying to land in the eastern Congo city of Goma, the UN special representative for the country said.

The drone, part of a programme monitoring armed groups in the conflict-ridden eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was made inoperable but would fly again after repairs, said Martin Kobler at the UN headquarters in New York.

The incident occurred as the unarmed drone was returning from a mission, to Goma, in North Kivu province, and no casualties were reported, said Felix Prosper Basse, a military spokesman for the peacekeeping mission.

Last March, the UN security council authorised the use of unarmed drones on a trial basis for intelligence gathering in east Congo, a region where several armed groups continue to operate despite the defeat of the M23 rebel group late last year.

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