Sunday 18 November 2018

Ebola epidemic 'out of control' amid massacres by Islamists

Congo

The outbreak is the first to take place in an active conflict zone. Photo: Mark Naftalin/UNICEF via AP
The outbreak is the first to take place in an active conflict zone. Photo: Mark Naftalin/UNICEF via AP

Adrian Blomfield

An Ebola epidemic in Congo is in danger of "spiralling out of control" amid a series of massacres blamed on an Islamist militia partially financed out of London, aid workers have warned.

With 155 deaths since Ebola was confirmed in the country's North Kivu region on August 1, fears of a cross-border epidemic are rising.

But local and international efforts to contain the spread of what is seen as the most dangerous Ebola outbreak in Congo's history have suffered repeated setbacks in conditions described by one Western aid worker as "close to impossible".

The outbreak is the first to take place in an active conflict zone. Just as it has struck, the conflict has worsened.

International aid agencies were forced to halt work after gunmen killed 15 people and abducted 12 children in an attack on Beni, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak.

Irish Independent

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