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Deadly environment plus political and social obstacles hinder Congo Ebola fight

25.07.2019 18:11 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) As of now, the problems of eradicating Ebola within Congo are not only medical, but also linked «to a variety of political and social factors», UN Radio says referring to Leila Zerrougui (UN Special Representative to Congo and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) yesterday report to the UN Securiy Council. As to Zerrougui, along with continuing high levels of community distrust to the response to the epidemic, militants, including the ADF and Mai-Mai groups, have caused «a deadly environment» for the people working to counter the virus, «to the point of being specifically threatened and killed by armed groups». As to her, the Ebola epidemic has now «claimed the lives of more than 1,700 people» and recent isolated cases within Goma and across the border within Uganda «have heightened concerns about its spread outside of the Beni and Butembo areas». As to the report, she drew the Council attention to the growing number of armed combatants who have expressed a willingness to lay down their weapons since President Tshisekedi took office, asserting: «The broad integration of ex-combatants into the army and police forces in previous years only led to the degradation of their capacities, the hijacking of security policy by parallel networks, and incentivizing the creation of illegal armed groups». Ms. Zerrougui summed up her report by pressing the Council for a support, saying it is «critical to the ultimate success of the Mission, and its ability to exit the DRC under the appropriate conditions».

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