U.N. says surveillance drone in Congo slips off runway


An unmanned aircraft used by U.N. peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo slipped off the runway on Wednesday near the eastern town of Goma, the head of the U.N. mission said.

The drone would need to be repaired before it could fly again but none of the surveillance equipment seemed to have been damaged, Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, said in New York.

The United Nations force started using drones – a first for the world body – last month to help it monitor armed groups operating along Congo’s border zone with Rwanda and Uganda.

A spokesman for the mission said an investigation was under way but no one had been injured in the incident.

Earlier, a senior official in Congo’s interior ministry earlier told Reuters the drone crashed shortly after taking off from Goma.

The Falco drones used by the U.N. force are manufactured by Selex ES, a unit of Italian defense group Finmeccanica. Finmeccanica had no immediate comment.