The commanders of two peacekeeping missions in Africa appealed Wednesday for more sophisticated military technology to stay ahead of armed groups threatening civilians and government.
Lt. Gen. Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, the commander of the 19,000-member U.N. peacekeeping mission in eastern Congo, welcomed the decision to equip the force with drone surveillance planes to help new “intervention brigades” neutralize and disarm rebel groups under a more robust mandate from the Security Council.
Dos Santos Cruz, who is from Brazil, spoke before the Security Council along with the commanders of other U.N. peacekeeping missions. He said he expects the unmanned aircraft to help identify the logistical hubs of armed groups and provide early warning of their movements and intentions.
He also spoke to the council about other advanced military technology that could benefit peacekeepers. Those included equipment to intercept communication signalsof armed groups that “regularly change their locations and methods of operating,” and effective warning and neutralizing devices against improvised explosive devices.
“If, as seems to be the case, negative forces are increasingly resorting to the use of more sophisticated military technology to achieve their objectives, so there will be a need for U.N. forces to at least match that capability,” dos Santos Cruz said. “This is an area that needs to be continually monitored if U.N. peacekeeping is to avoid being outpaced and its effectiveness diluted.”
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