The ongoing violence in Congo has killed at least 100 people and displaced thousands, the U.N. said on Friday (November 29), warning on the impact on the Ebola response.
Recent attacks by armed groups, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a jihadist rebel group originally from Uganda that has operated for decades in Congo, sparked protests in the country, driven by accusations that the army and United Nations are not doing enough to protect civilians.
UNHCR spokesman, Charly Yaxley, said humanitarian access in eastern Beni has been cut off due to the rising tensions.
“Armed groups have been targeting civilians and displaced populations in the region, killing scores of people”, he said, adding that his agency received “alarming reports” of people being trapped and under threat of armed groups in the troubled region.
Health workers have lost access to the remaining strongholds of the virus in recent weeks due to deteriorating security and WHO was forced to evacuate 49 staffs from Beni on Tuesday (November 26).
WHO’s spokesman said the ongoing violence has seriously hampered contact tracing, a major component of containing the outbreak.
The World Food Program said operations regarding the Ebola response was temporarily suspended.