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UN Tells ICP Ladsous' DRC Drone Cost 10 M Euros, Run by Contractor

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, August 5 -- After Inner City Press published an exclusive story and asked about crashes in Pakistan and Wales by the the exact drone model that UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has procured for Eastern Congo, the Selex ES Falco, and questioned the cost, management and use of information, the UN's spokesperson Martin Nesirky at Monday's noon briefing answered some of Inner City Press' questions.

  The single drone will cost 10 million Euros, apparently per year, for a three year contract with two additional years as an option. (Nersirky did not say at whose option these two years would be: the contract should be made public.)

  Nesirky answered that 25 companies from 11 countries visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and "a number" submitted proposal. Nesirky did not say WHAT number: this, and the proposals, should be made public.

  When Inner City Press asked again who would run the drone, and who would get the information, Nesirky said that "the contractor" will run the UAV. Would that be Finmeccanica, the ultimate parent, also involved in cyber intelligence? This should be specified.

  Will the drone be controlled from Goma, Kinshasa, or in US style, a room under Las Vegas? Or in Rome?

  Nesirky said that the information will be provided "exclusively" to the MONUSCO mission. Inner City Press asked if MONUSCO would then in turn provide information to the Congolese Army. Nesirky insisted: exclusively to MONUSCO.

Does that mean MONUSCO would never share the positions or movement of armed groups with the FARDC?

  Or with the Permanent Five members of the Security Council, one of which (France) Herve Ladsous represented in the Security Council as Deputy Permanent Representative during the Rwanda genocide, arguing for the escape of genocidaires into Eastern Congo which he will now be observing with this murky -- and crash prone -- drone? Watch this site.


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