DR Congo: Rebels attack Ebola hospital in North Kivu
April 20, 2019
Militiamen in the DRC's North Kivu province attacked another hospital in their most recent assault on organizations fighting Ebola. The city of Butembo in North Kivu province is at the center of the current epidemic.
Rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo attacked a hospital on Saturday, in the latest in a series of attacks on Ebola treatment centers and hospitals in the region.
One of the militants was killed and four more arrested after the attack on the Katwa hospital in the city of Butembo in the northern province of North Kivu, said Butembo Mayor Sylvain Kanyamanda.
Butembo city's deputy mayor, Patrick Kambale Tsiko, told the Associated Press news agency that the attackers were armed with machetes and tried to burn down the center.
"The fear of being forcibly hospitalized adds to the poor public image of Ebola treatment centers," Natalie Roberts, head of emergencies for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, wrote earlier this month. "These structures are associated with a life-threatening illness, isolation and the use of protective equipment which makes the staff unrecognizable and intimidating."
In North Kivu and Ituri, around 1,300 people have already contracted Ebola, and more than 850 have succumbed to the virus.
In an attempt to curb the outbreak, around 100,000 people have already received an experimental Ebola vaccine in the region.
The latest in a string of attacks
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday condemned the Butembo University Hospital attack and called on Congolese authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.