Burundian peacekeepers in CAR trained to use surveillance drone

A team of eight soldiers from the Burundian contingent in MINUSCA, the African Union’s peacekeeping force in Central African republic, has received training on the use of “phantom” surveillance drones, says Gaspard Baratuza, spokesman for Burundi National Defence forces (FDN) on 23 February 2017.

Gaspard Baratuza, spokesman for FDN.

Gaspard Baratuza, spokesman for FDN.

«This device will play a major role within the contingents in gathering the information necessary for securing their area”, says Baratuza.

Jean Baptiste Ndayizeye, Burundian Contingent Commander who participated in the training, said the device given to the Burundian contingent is an important piece of equipment used to gather information in military situations.

“This tactical drone came at the right time. It will facilitate the identification of enemies in the area without endangering the life of the military, and in field research a long distance away”, said Ndayizeye.

The security situation remains precarious in Central African Republic, especially in the north where people fear attacks by armed groups.

“A drone is a military instrument which is being used in many countries. It is for instance used in Somalia, in Central African Republic, and so on. So, as Burundian soldiers are in peace keeping in Central African Republic, it is an opportunity for them to learn how to use the drone”, says Baratuza.

Asked whether the Burundian army owns any drones, Baratuza said it is a secret.

Captain Apollinaire Nimbesha, another soldier who participated in the training said he learned a great deal.
«To fly, the drone is guided by a remote control that has two antennas, two joysticks, one on the left and the other on the right. The first joystick makes the drone rise and fall and also allows the rotation. The second joystick ensures the movement of the drone according to the intention of the user”, said Nimbesha.

Eight Burundian soldiers died in peace keeping mission in CAR up to 31 January 2017 and hundreds of Burundian soldiers died in Somalia.