United Nations launches drones over Congo



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KINSHASA, Congo (AP) - At a ceremony held at a pockmarked airport in Congo's troubled east, the United Nations launched the first of five drones which will be used to gather intelligence about the myriad armed groups still lurking in the nation's vast jungles.

United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous presided over the ceremony alongside Congo's minister of defense, calling the drones "an essential instrument ... both to observe armed groups and also to keep watch over civilians who are displaced or on the run due to the conflict."

Congolese Minister of Defense Luba Tambo added that the drones will play a critical role in helping patrol the nation's porous border with neighboring Rwanda, which is accused of funneling arms and battalions of foot soldiers to the rebels in Congo.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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SALEH MWANAMILONGO

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