Monday , March 20 2023

DRC efforts to combat Ebola's resumption in Beni after moral violence News


Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) health authorities resumed efforts to fight a major outbreak of Ebola in the eastern Beni region after a brief suspension following clashes.

"Despite the deadly attacks, Ebola response activities continue," the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga announced the suspension of operations on Saturday, a day after several clashes broke out a few meters away from a local emergency center and the hotels of several response teams in Beni, North Kivu Province.

Peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission in the country (MONUSCO) rejected an Allied Forces Alliance (APF) offensive in butin the north of the Boikene country.

Seven Malawi and a Tanzanian pacifist were killed in the attack.

Also on Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said 16 of its members were temporarily evacuated to Goma for psychological care after a shell struck the building they lived in.

Michel Yao, the WHO coordinator for Ebola's Beni intervention, told AFP that no one was injured, adding that he did not know if the shell came from the ADF or MONUSCO forces.

"WHO will continue to work alongside the ministry and our partners to put an end to this Ebola outbreak," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

"We honor the memory of those who have died fighting this outbreak and we are lamenting the continuing threats to the security of those who are still working to put an end to this epidemic," he added.

The United Nations also resumed activities, including vaccination, the UN health agency said in a statement.

The latest epidemic of Ebola, the tenth, caused 166 confirmed deaths and 47 deaths, most often in the North Kivu provinces and Ituri-rich minerals that were the epicenter interethnic violence and militia for decades.

The worst outbreak

According to the WHO, 358 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in the country.

The figure exceeds the 318 documented cases in 1976, when the virus was first identified in Yambuku, Equateur Province.

"No other epidemic in the world was as complex as the one we are currently experiencing" Oly Ilunga said last week, adding that the teams responding to the outbreak are attacked on average three or four times a week, at an unprecedented level of violence compared to the country's nine previous epidemics.

"From their arrival in the region, response teams faced threats, physical attacks, repeated destruction of their equipment, and kidnapping" Oly Ilunga.

Saturday, there was a ceremony for peacekeepers who were killed in the previous night's attack.

Fifteen other peacekeepers were killed in an ADF attack on a MONUSCO base in Beni, in December 2017.

The armed group was formed in neighboring Uganda in the 1990s. Forced from Uganda, it operates in the border area of ​​Kivu province in DRC.

In Beni, the ADF has a brutal reputation. He is accused of hundreds of civilian deaths over the past three years, as well as mass recruitment of rapes and soldiers.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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