Three health workers helping to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo`s eastern region have been killed and four others critically injured following a fresh attack by armed groups in the restive Ituri province.
On Wednesday, the administrator of Beni territory Donat Kibwana, says suspected Islamist rebels killed at least 19 persons during a raid that occurred overnight in the village of Maleki East Congo, in a series of attacks causing anger at the perceived inaction of the army and U.N. troops.
Kibwana blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a jihadist rebel group originally from Uganda whom United Nations figures show, have killed at least 80 persons in 14 raids since the army launched an operation against them late last month.
The U.N. peacekeeping mission said in a statement on Wednesday that it would be unable to end the ADF’s violence if its forces were under attack from local people.
The who said on Tuesday, it was relocating 49 staff after crowds attacked a UN base in the town of Beni accusing UN forces of not protecting them from rebel attacks.
Ebola responders have previously been targeted by militias and people who do not believe the fatal virus is real and also have deep suspicion about how the vaccine is administered.
DR Congo is experiencing the world’s second-worst Ebola epidemic on record, that has killed nearly 2200 people and infected more than 3,000.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the U.N. health agency said Congo has reported more than 250,000 suspected cases of measles this year, including more than 5,000 deaths. The figures mean that measles has killed more people in DRC than the Ebola outbreak.
Explosion At Astron Energy’s South African Refinery Kills At Least Two: Source
An explosion went off at Astron energy refinery in South African on Thursday. A source who works at the 100,000 barrel per day plant says, at least two persons are reported killed in the explosion and several others injured.
The plant, which was just starting up after undergoing extended maintenance, was shut down after a fire broke out early on Thursday.
The company- Astron energy `s spokesperson has not responded.
Mali Opposition Seeks To Curb President’s Authority In Reform Plan
Opponents of Mali’s president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita have sought on Wednesday to end a political crisis by proposing reforms to neuter his authority and hand executive power to a prime minister.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Bamako twice in June to demand the immediate resignation of Keita saying he had been unable to resolve Mali’s numerous crises, while corruption and economic hardship have flourished.
A leader of opposition coalition, Choguel Kokala Maiga, presented a nine-point proposal this week that included the appointment of a prime minister by the opposition. But did not push for a demand for the president`s resignation.
Among the group’s proposals are the dissolution of the national assembly, a transitional legislative body, the renewal of members of Mali’s highest court, and a government of national unity.
Their proposal would effectively curtail Keita’s powers to that of a ceremonial head of state. 75-year-old Keita, was re-elected in 2018 for a second five-year term.
Mali has been in political turmoil since a disputed legislative election in march. The lead-up to the poll was marred by allegations of vote buying and intimidation and the kidnapping of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse.
As concerns about Mali’s political instability are growing, Boubacar Keita`s government has offered concessions, including a unity government, while mediators from the regional body ECOWAS have proposed new legislative elections in disputed constituencies. These have been rejected by the opposition.
The united nations, which has thousands of peacekeepers in the country, has also called for calm and dialogue. At a Sahel security summit on Tuesday, France, EU and regional leaders called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Burundi To Boost Testing, President Labels Covid-19 ‘Worst Enemy’
Burundi’s new president Evariste Ndayishimiye says his government will take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously than his late predecessor. Former president Pierre Nkurunziza who died last month was criticized for not taking the pandemic seriously.
Now, Ndayishimiye says screenings will be launched wherever clusters of cases are suspected, and that soap prices and water bills will be reduced. He called the coronavirus the country’s worst enemy.
Some countries and human rights groups have expressed hope that the new president, an ally of Nkurunziza, might break with certain ways of his predecessor.
Burundi has reported 170 confirmed coronavirus cases.
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