UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous looks on during a press conference on September 10, 2012 in Kinshasa.

United Nations -

The United Nations wants to use surveillance drones in Congo for the first time but is running into opposition from neighbouring Rwanda which is believed to be backing rebels who recently took control of many towns in the conflict-wracked east.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous asked the Security Council on Tuesday to support the deployment of drones to improve the UN peacekeeping mission's ability to protect civilians in the vast area, UN diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.

Brieuc Pont, spokesman for France's UN Mission, tweeted that “the UN in Congo needs additional and modern assets, including drones, to be better informed and more reactive.”

But Rwanda's UN Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana said his government and others have legitimate concerns. - Sapa-AP