4 killed, 5 injured in attacks against Ebola response team in DRC

Henrietta Brewer
December 1, 2019

Four members of staff responding to the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo have been killed and six injured in a targeted attack on those battling the disease, the World Health Organization has said.

The latest attacks took place after days of deadly unrest in the city of Beni, where residents indignant over repeated attacks by rebels stormed the local United Nations peacekeeping base, demanding more of their lives. protection. The rebels think that the medical camp in Biakato mines is the reason to wipe out the local population, which triggers Mai Mai fighters to attack the Ebola responders repeatedly.

A member of the vaccination team that provides Ebola vaccine for communities was killed, two drivers and a police officer totalled the four that died. "The world has lost fearless professionals".

"We are heartbroken that our worst fears have been realised", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter about the attacks in Biakato Mines and Mangina.

On Tuesday, WHO said it had moved 49 Ebola-response staff out of the eastern town of Beni as insecurity in the area surged.

Far from the capital, Kinshasa, some traumatized residents of the densely populated border region close to Uganda and Rwanda are wary of strangers, further complicating the work of Ebola confinement in a region of Congo that had never registered the virus before.

"There's no confirmation of the actual perpetrators or the reason for the attack - we can only make assumptions about who it might have been given the active groups in the area", he said. Others were injured, he said.

The attacks occurred as the worldwide health organization has been battling to contain the second-worst outbreak of Ebola on record that has seen some 2,200 deaths among 3,309 cases of the disease since August 2018.

After the loss of 19 people and townhall destruction in the Beni attack, President Felix Tshisekedi called Congolese and U.N forces for joint operations to defend the locals.

Vast tracts of eastern DRC are in the grip of armed groups, especially a shadowy militia called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Ebola has infected more than 3,300 and killed almost 2,200 people in Congo's volatile east, according to authorities.

"Ebola was retreating. These attacks will give it force again, and more people will die as a effect", said Dr Tedros. "It is one of the largest that we have seen", Kate O'Brien, director of the WHO's immunisation department, told reporters in Geneva.

Other reports by iNewsToday