UN calls for wider use of surveillance drones

2014-05-30 09:54

(http://www.shutterstock.com )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

United Nations - UN peacekeeping missions should deploy more drones and state-of the art technology to become more effective, limit boots on the ground and keep aid workers safer, their chief said on Thursday.

On the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, staff paid tribute to more than 3 000 peacekeepers who have died since 1948, including 106 last year, and to those still serving on the frontline.

The head of UN peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, said that a peacekeeper died on average once every three days in 2013, and that technology needs to be upgraded to assist a record number of UN boots on the ground.

The Security Council last month approved a new mission in the Central African Republic and in December voted to send an extra 5 500 soldiers to war-torn South Sudan.

"Clearly we cannot continue to afford to work with 20th century tools in the 21st century," Ladsous told reporters in New York.

He said drones had already helped in the Democratic Republic of Congo and could be vital in improving humanitarian access.

"They [convoys] can use the images of the machines to make sure they are not going to be attacked or hijacked on the way. That, I think, is a very significant development," Ladsous said.

"We do need them [drones] in countries like Mali, like Central African Republic and clearly in South Sudan it would be my desire that we might deploy them," he said.

Surveillance drones could replace some military observers and make a big difference.

"In some cases using technology can make it necessary not to have so many boots on the ground and also, lets never forget, to improve on the delivery," Ladsous said.

Looking to Nato, EU

Ladsous expressed hope that the quickening departure of Western troops from Afghanistan could see more European Union and Nato countries take part in UN peacekeeping missions.

"This is an opportunity for them to come back or move into United Nations peacekeeping, especially with high-tech assets, state of the art equipment... that could make the difference."

He pointed to Ireland, in the Golan Heights, and the Netherlands and Sweden, in Mali, as examples of EU and Nato countries who had also served in Afghanistan.

Ameerah Haq, head of field support, told reporters that fuel-efficient cars, solar power, night-vision capabilities and tethered balloons would also be useful.

"What gives the best capability to the troops? And if that is technology then certainly we want to study to see what is in our means to deploy," she said.

Haq said UN peacekeepers were more at risk than ever.

"We are facing the specific targeting of peacekeepers and also we are seeing the merging of conflict and international criminal activities," she said.

Ladsous singled out the UN missions in Darfur and South Sudan as the deadliest in 2013.

He also expressed frustration about the extra 5 500 troops approved for South Sudan being "too slow" to deploy.

"The ceasefire is not really implemented. The political process is marking time and of course we have to keep insisting that this situation has to stop," he said.

In Darfur, he said violence was also on the rise, with another 300 000 people internally displaced since the end of last year - the same number as during the whole of 2013.
Read more on:    un  |  nato  |  eu  |  herve ladsous
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.