GOMA, DR Congo - The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said one of its new surveillance drones crashed after technical problems on Wednesday but no one was hurt. The accident took place around 11:00am local time (0900 GMT) as the drone was landing at the airport in Goma, capital of the troubled North Kivu province, said a source from the MONUSCO mission.

An air force officer at Goma airport said the machine was “completely destroyed.” MONUSCO spokesman Prosper Basse confirmed the drone had crashed “as it was returning from a mission.”

 “Luckily there were no injuries or deaths,” added Basse. “We are carrying out inquiries to find out the technical cause for the accident,” he told reporters. The UN drone programme was launched on December 3.

The drones, which are unarmed and exclusively equipped for reconnaissance flights, are intended to help the UN watch over North Kivu, a mineral-rich province prey to dozens of armed movements, which troops have been ordered to neutralise, including by force.