Democratic Republic of Congo

24 October 2018

The Allied Democratic Forces attacked the site of an ongoing Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo, stalling containment efforts.


On 20-21 October 2018, 15 civilians were killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  during rebel attack as reported by Congo’s military. This attack occurred in an Ebola epicenter of the DRC, forcing the brief suspension of virus containment efforts in the area.

Rebels associated with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamic rebel group based in Uganda, attacked the Congolese army and several neighborhoods in Beni, located near the Ugandan border in the North Kivu province of the DRC. The U.N. peacekeeping mission confirmed that fire was exchanged between their troops and the rebels. In addition to the death of 15 civilians, a dozen children were also abducted, according to the Congo military.

During this time, another armed group killed two people. Two health workers were shot dead by Mai Mai rebels, who opened-fired on agents in Butembo city, according to the health ministry. Mai Mai militias are comprised of multiple armed rebel groups which initially formed in the 1990s to resist the invasion of Rwandan forces. The ministry also stated that this attack appeared to be premeditated, as civilians who were present at the time were not targeted. The DRC health minister said it was a “dark day” for everyone working to fight against the virus.

These attacks follow an ADF attack in late September 2018, which killed over 20 people and suspended containment efforts for a few days. In the second week of October, at least 33 people became infected with the virus. Of these 33 people infected, 24 passed away by 16 October.

At this point, over 200 confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported. Out of these cases, 118 people have died. The World Health Organization stated it is “deeply concerned” by this Ebola outbreak. Additionally, cases have been reported near the Ugandan border.

 

 

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/at-least-14-killed-in-violence-in-eastern-congos-ebola-zone-idUSKCN1MV0S1

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/drc-rebels-kill-13-abduct-dozen-children-ebola-epicentre-181021093953689.html

http://time.com/5430745/congo-rebels-attack-ebola-epicenter/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/ebola-outbreak-health-workers-rebels-shot-drc-army-democratic-republic-of-congo-butembo-mai-mai-a8594356.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/dr-congo-ebola-claims-24-lives-week-181016061932750.html

Country Profile - Democratic Republic of Congo