Published: Fri, February 01, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

DRC : Ebola outbreak spreads to high security risk zone

DRC : Ebola outbreak spreads to high security risk zone

There has been no confirmation of exactly who carried out the killings but the mission said that "the attacks were conducted in an organized and planned manner, and were extremely violent and fast, leaving little time for the populations to flee".

Riek Gai Kok, South Sudan's minister of health, said the exercise is part of the on-going efforts of the ministry and partners to strengthen the country's preparedness capacities and mitigate the risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) importation from the raging outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

A MONUSCO special mission looking into the circumstances of the fighting found at least 11 mass graves and 43 individual graves around the town of Yumbi and at least four communal graves containing at least 170 bodies in nearby Bongende, spokeswoman Florence Marchal said.

A dispute linked to a tribal chief's burial is seen as a catalyst for the fighting between the Banunu and Batende communities. According to the report, although outbreak risk remains high at the national and regional levels, the global risk level remains low.

More than 460 people have died from the disease, as response continues to be hampered by insecurity issues, frequent movements of people in the affected areas and resistance from some communities. Relatively high numbers of cases were reported in recent weeks (Figure 1), mostly driven by the outbreak in Katwa Health Zone; the current focus of large scale response activities.

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"While the conclusions of this mission are still being finalised, we are able to confirm that several hundred people including women and many children were killed in unbearable circumstances", she said.

"[We are] ready to support the Congolese authorities to bring justice to the victims, and promote reconciliation between the two communities".

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations (UN).

The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said hundreds of villagers from four communities in Yumbi had been killed during inter-ethnic clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities in several days - beginning on December 16.

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