The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said on Monday he is “outraged by the continued killing and abduction of civilians by armed groups” near Beni, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s North Kivu region, which has been grappling with an Ebola outbreak since August.
Mr. Guterres condemned Saturday’s attack in the town of Mayongose on the outskirts of Beni, in which at least 11 civilians were killed, and several more were injured and abducted. He said he is also “deeply troubled” by reports that on Friday, two Congolese health workers helping to combat the Ebola outbreak, were killed in Butembo by armed militia.
Such attacks continue to hamper humanitarian access in the conflict-torn region and prevent health workers from tackling the outbreak.
This outbreak, the tenth to hit the DRC in 40 years, was declared in North Kivu Province on August 1 this year and, given the worsening security situation in and around the city of Beni, the World Health Organization (WHO) elevated its risk level from “high” to “very high” on September 28. So far, more than 250 Ebola cases have been reported, causing over 140 deaths.
WHO suspended all of its activities for a period of two days after attacks in late September in and around Beni, which left more than 20 dead.
The Secretary-General called “on all armed groups to immediately cease attacks against civilians and ensure humanitarian access to populations in need”.