Ebola-helpers must work under the break

Once again, a setback in the fight against the Ebola epidemic in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: After it came to violent protests, had to set the international volunteers of their work in the fight against the epidemic in part.

Previously, residents had protested Beni against the uncertainty and ongoing attacks by militias and a base of the UN peacekeeping forces in the city attacked. Because of the violence in the world, withdrew health organization (WHO) and several NGOs, in the fight against the Ebola outbreak, staff from Beni. The city is the centre of the epidemic.

An Ebola-clinic of Doctors without borders (MSF) in Beni was open still, the staff had been, for security reasons, is reduced, said Brian Moller, the emergency coordinator of MSF in the North Kivu province. The children’s aid organisation World Vision presented their work in Beni temporarily completely. The WHO has moved, according to a speaker more than a third of its staff in the nearby city of Goma.

Looting as a response to violence

Angry demonstrators had on Monday in Beni, a base of the UN peacekeeping troops stormed and looted. The office of the Monusco UN Mission, was damaged, according to a UN spokesperson, and staff were relocated for security reasons. In Beni, around 700 blue helmets from Malawi and India are stationed.

The police used violence against the protesters, according to Amnesty International, some with live ammunition. At least one person had been killed. The Vice-President of a civil society Organisation in Beni, Noella Katsongerwaki, spoke of at least five dead in the incident.

On the occasion of the protests, the security situation in and around Beni was. Again and again, armed groups attack civilians, especially the radical Islamic militia ADF. In just the past two weeks, the ADF have killed more than 70 people, reported a Human Rights Watch cofounded the organization that documented the violence in the Eastern Congo. At the weekend it was again an attack with several dead.

In addition to Ebola – including the measles outbreak

“This outbreak of violence could not have come at a worse time”, the head of World Vision in Eastern Congo, Helen Barclay-Holland. The Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been ongoing for more than a year. So far, more than 3300 people according to the authorities, ill and nearly 2200 people have died.

The outbreak is mainly due to the instability in the Region so difficult to handle. Several militias are active there, mostly with the control of territories and mineral resources like Gold or cobalt. Again and again they attack civilians and Ebola helpers. Add to that a measles outbreak in the Congo, which has claimed since the beginning of the year, according to the WHO, more than 5,100 deaths. An estimated quarter of a million people are suffering in the country this year to measles.