STABILITY OPERATIONS: Attacks on Afghan Aid Workers, UN Drones in Congo

December 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

Threat Rises in Afghanistan

Institute for the Study of War map

Institute for the Study of War map

A United Nations official says aid workers in Afghanistan are under an increasing threat in the war wracked country as most U.S. troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year.

Nine Afghan aid workers were killed in separate attacks on two days last month. Suspected Taliban gunmen killed six aid workers in northern Faryab province (see map) November 27. An explosive device killed three other aid workers in southern Uruzgan province the previous day, the Voice of America website reported.

An October report from the Aid Workers Security Database identified Afghanistan as the most dangerous country for aid workers, VoA added.

Mark Bowden, the U.N.’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, said in a statement Saturday (November 30) that he’s “extremely concerned” about the rise in attacks on civilian aid workers during a time of transition when Afghanistan soldiers and police will be taking over security responsibilities from U.S. and NATO coalition forces.

“These tragic incidents illustrate the growing risks surrounding the delivery of aid and the increasing disrespect for humanitarian personnel in Afghanistan,” Bowen said.

“These tragic incidents illustrate the growing risks surrounding the delivery of aid and the increasing disrespect for humanitarian personnel in Afghanistan,” Bowen said.

According to Bowen, there were 237 attacks on Afghanistan’s aid workers through November – with 36 people killed, 46 wounded and 96 detained or abducted. Last year, there were 175 attacks, with 11 people killed, 26 wounded and 44 detained or abducted, the New York Times reported.

UN Drones Patrol Congo Skies

U.N. peacekeepers have deployed two Falco Selex ES2 drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo  (Photo courtesy of Selex ES)

U.N. peacekeepers have deployed two Falco Selex ES2 drones along the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(Photo courtesy of Selex ES)

U.N. Peacekeepers have deployed two unarmed, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor rebel activity near the borders with Rwanda and Uganda, the BBC reports.

It is the first time U.N. peacekeepers have deployed a drone bought and paid for by the United Nations – rather than bringing them from their home countries, which Belgian and Irish troops have done in previous African peacekeeping missions.

The drones, two Falcos manufactured by Selex ES, a unit of Italian aerospace contractor Finmeccanica, were launched in the skies over Goma, a citry in the eastern DRC briefly occupied byM23 rebels. The rebels are mostly ethnic Tutsi fighters who were integrated in the DRC Army in 2009, but mutinied in 2012 over their alleged mistreatment by the DRC Army.

More than 800,000 people fled their homes due to the violent revolt, which M23 leaders ended last month after U.N. Peacekeepers took the gloves off and pursued an offensive against the rebel group.

The drones will be used to see if any neighboring countries are supplying the rebel militia. Both Rwanda and Uganda have denied aiding the M23 rebels. UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the BBC that if successful in the DRC, the Falco UAVs could be used in other U.N. Peacekeeping missions.

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Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Aircraft, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, International Relief, National Security and Defense, Peacekeeping, Technology, Unmanned Aircraft, Unmanned Systems, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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