Militants kill at least 40 villagers in east Congo attacks

Militants kill at least 40 villagers in east Congo attacks

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 40 civilians in a string of attacks on several villages in east Democratic Republic of Congo between Thursday and Monday, a local human rights group and a hospital worker said Tuesday. Assailants believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) first targeted a group of villagers from North-Kivu province that had crossed into neighbouring Ituri province to look for arable land near the Ituri River on Aug. 25. Christophe Munyanderu, coordinator of the local group Convention for the Respect of Human Rights (CRDH), said ADF fighters had executed more than 40 men,…
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Italian Ambassador’s death in Congo may not be what it seemed

Italian Ambassador’s death in Congo may not be what it seemed

At around 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 22, seven men, some armed, stepped onto a road in eastern Congo and forced two cars belonging to the United Nations World Food Programme to stop. Several minutes of heavy gunfire alerted a group of conservation rangers guarding workers on the scrubby slope above. The attackers left the road with their captives and walked up the open hillside straight towards the rangers, well known as the country's best-trained fighters. When the group was around 100 metres away, the rangers fired warning shots, sparking a three-minute skirmish. The attackers fled, leaving Italy's ambassador to the…
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Uganda army to join Congo in offensive against Islamist rebels

Uganda army to join Congo in offensive against Islamist rebels

The Ugandan and Congo armies are setting up an operations centre in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo for a joint offensive against Islamist rebels who have killed hundreds of people in the last year, Congo's government said. On Sunday a delegation from the Ugandan Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) including the commander of Uganda's ground forces arrived in Beni in Congo's North Kivu province to establish a coordination centre for the two armies, Kinshasa's communications ministry said. A Congo army spokesman was not immediately available for comment. A Ugandan army spokesman said he could not confirm the information given…
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Arsenal’s Aubameyang and Partey to miss Cup of Nations games due to COVID-19 restrictions

Arsenal’s Aubameyang and Partey to miss Cup of Nations games due to COVID-19 restrictions

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and midfielder Thomas Partey will both miss one game of their respective Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaigns due to COVID-19 restrictions, their Premier League club Arsenal said on Monday. Club football is on a two-week hiatus as players join their national teams during the international break but some countries are off limits due to strict COVID-19 quarantine rules, with FIFA giving clubs the power to refuse to release players. "Auba has been selected by Gabon, who will host DR Congo before a trip to face Angola. However, Auba will only be available for the home…
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Italy repatriates ambassador and bodyguard killed in Congo

Italy repatriates ambassador and bodyguard killed in Congo

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A military plane left eastern Congo for Italy on Tuesday loaded with the bodies of Italy's ambassador and his bodyguard in coffins draped in Italian flags, a day after they were shot dead in an ambush on a United Nations convoy. Ambassador Luca Attanasio, 43, and his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci, 30, were killed while travelling in a World Food Programme convoy to visit a school feeding project. WFP driver Mustapha Milambo was also killed. The two wooden coffins were loaded onto an Italian military cargo plane in the city of Goma in eastern…
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At least 60 killed after passenger barge crashes on Congo river

At least 60 killed after passenger barge crashes on Congo river

At least 60 people died when a passenger barge carrying more than 700 people became shipwrecked on the Congo river at night, Democratic Republic of Congo's humanitarian affairs minister said on Monday. Some 300 survivors had been found near the scene of the accident in Mai-Ndombe province in the west of the country, but another 240 remained unaccounted for, Steve Mbikayi wrote on Twitter. Deadly boat accidents are common in Congo, which has few tarred roads across its vast, forested interior and where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity. For most people the Congo river and its tributaries are the only means of travelling long distances. "We sympathize with the families of…
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WHO sounds regional warning over Ebola outbreaks in Congo, Guinea

WHO sounds regional warning over Ebola outbreaks in Congo, Guinea

GENEVA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - An outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea poses a regional risk that requires exceptional vigilance, a senior World Health Organisation official said on Monday. Congo has confirmed four cases of Ebola since a resurgence of the virus was announced on Feb. 7 in Butembo, the epicentre of a previous outbreak that was declared over last June. An Ebola vaccination campaign has begun in Butembo, in eastern DRC, the WHO said in a tweet on Monday. Separately, the West African country of Guinea declared a new Ebola outbreak on Sunday, with seven…
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Congo declares end of Ebola outbreak, sees lessons for COVID fight

Congo declares end of Ebola outbreak, sees lessons for COVID fight

Democratic Republic of Congo announced the end of an almost six-month Ebola outbreak in the west of the country on Wednesday as health authorities looked to apply lessons from the successful response to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa. The outbreak, which infected 130 people and killed 55, emerged in June, weeks before a separate Ebola epidemic in the east drew to a close. That one killed more than 2,200 people, the second-most in the disease's history. “I am pleased to solemnly declare the end of the 11th epidemic of Ebola virus disease in Equateur Province,” Health Minister Eteni Longondo…
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Islamic group frees 1,300 fighters from jail in DRC

Islamic group frees 1,300 fighters from jail in DRC

Armed men freed more than 1,300 prisoners from a jail in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in a coordinated attack on Tuesday, the town's mayor said, blaming an Islamist militant group operating in the area. Only 110 of 1,456 inmates, including a number of militia fighters, remained following the simultaneous early morning assaults on the Kangbayi central prison in Beni and the military camp defending it, said Modeste Bakwanamaha. "The attackers, who came in large numbers, managed to break the door with electrical equipment," Bakwanamaha told Reuters. "We believe it was the ADF who did this." The Allied Democratic Forces…
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New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest DR Congo, WHO supporting response

New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest DR Congo, WHO supporting response

A new outbreak of the Ebola virus disease has been identified in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province, according to the country's Government. The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak. Initial information from the Ministry of Health is that six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care. Three of these six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is likely…
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11-month baby is second Ebola death recorded in the DR Congo

11-month baby is second Ebola death recorded in the DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has recorded a second Ebola death in days following more than seven weeks without a new case, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. The DRC had been set on Sunday to mark an end to the second-deadliest outbreak of the virus on record, until a case was confirmed on Friday in the eastern city of Beni. The outbreak has killed more than 2,200 people since August 2018 in an area of the country where violence by armed groups hobbled efforts to contain it. The latest victim was an 11-month-old girl, who was treated at the same…
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New Ebola case confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

New Ebola case confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Just two days before the World Health Organization would have formally announced the end of the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo, and 52 days after the most recent case was announced, director general Tedros Ghebreyesus instead announced a new case of the deadly virus. The unexpected news means the outbreak, which began in August 2018 and has killed more than 2,200 people, will go on for at least a couple more months before health workers can be sure it has been exhausted. “At two days before the end, it is sad for us,” said Marie Roseline Belizaire, who manages part…
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Congo’s Ebola outbreak slows but still global emergency

Congo’s Ebola outbreak slows but still global emergency

  The World Health Organization said although signs are now “extremely positive” in Congo that the Ebola outbreak is winding down, the epidemic remains a global health emergency. To date, Ebola has killed more than 2,200 people in Congo, making it the second-deadliest epidemic in history. The decision to maintain WHO’s global emergency declaration for Ebola came after a meeting of WHO’s Ebola expert committee. “As long as there is a single case of Ebola in an area as insecure and unstable as eastern (Congo), the potential remains for a much larger epidemic,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Much…
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More than 6,000 dead in world’s worst measles outbreak in DR Congo

More than 6,000 dead in world’s worst measles outbreak in DR Congo

The number of people killed by a measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has passed 6,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. The WHO says the epidemic is the world's largest and fastest moving. Around 310,000 suspected measles cases have been reported since the start of 2019, the WHO says. The Congolese government and the WHO launched an emergency vaccination programme last September. More than 18 million children under five were vaccinated across the country in 2019, the WHO says. But poor infrastructure, attacks on health centres and a lack of access to routine healthcare have all…
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EU allocates €50 million to fight Ebola and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo

EU allocates €50 million to fight Ebola and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The European Commission  announced €50 million to help the most vulnerable people affected by the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The funding will address urgent needs and provide continued support to the Congolese population, notably to improve food security and access to quality health services. The bulk of the funding, €40 million, will provide access to free and quality health care, including for malnutrition, for those living in Ebola affected areas. The remaining €10 million will help tackle the food security crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second most serious suchcrisis in the world. The…
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Congolese warlord sentenced to 30 years by ICC

Congolese warlord sentenced to 30 years by ICC

A former Congolese rebel leader has been sentenced to 30 years for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Fighters loyal to Bosco Ntaganda carried out massacres of civilians, said judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in July. Ntaganda, nicknamed "Terminator", was convicted on 18 counts including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers. The sentence is the longest that the ICC has handed down. Via BBC
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Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

The UN Security Council on Friday expressed grave concern about the current Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and stressed the urgency of broad cooperation in the response, as “the disease could spread rapidly, including to neighbouring countries, possibly having serious humanitarian consequences and impacting regional stability.” In a statement presented by Jacek Czaputowicz, Foreign Minister of Poland, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month of August, the 15-member body emphasized the need for continued cooperation and coordination with the DRC Government to address the Ebola outbreak, as well as with the States in the region. Noting “the challenging…
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Fourth Ebola case found in Goma

Fourth Ebola case found in Goma

A fourth case of Ebola has been confirmed in the eastern Congo city of Goma, the government said, as the disease spreads in a city of more than 1 million people. The new case is the wife of a man who died of the virus earlier this week and who only sought treatment over a week after starting to show symptoms, authorities said – raising concern he might have infected more people in Goma. Their daughter also tested positive for Ebola, and nearly 200 contacts of the man have been tracked, 160 of whom were vaccinated. Fears the disease was…
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Rwanda reopens border with DR Congo

Rwanda reopens border with DR Congo

Rwanda has reopened its border with DR Congo, where an Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people in the past year. The border was closed for several hours after the confirmation of a third death from Ebola in the Congolese city of Goma. At least 2,700 people have been infected in the worst Ebola outbreak in the country's history. About 12 new cases are being reported every day in Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. Via BBC
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Rwanda shuts border with DR Congo to stop spread of Ebola

Rwanda shuts border with DR Congo to stop spread of Ebola

Rwanda has closed its border with DR Congo in response to the Ebola crisis. At least two people have died from the virus in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, near the Rwandan border. Earlier this week a miner became the second person in Goma to be killed by the disease with reports indicating that a third person - believed to be the miner's daughter - died afterwards. It is one year today that DR Congo declared what has become its worst outbreak, with more than 1,800 people dead and over 2,700 infected. The outbreak is the most complicated ever…
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UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

Senior UN officials tasked with controlling the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have responded to Tuesday’s confirmation of a second case of Ebola in Goma, a major trading town in the vast country’s restive east, near the border with neighbouring Rwanda, which resulted in the death of the patient. On Wednesday, David Gressley, the UN Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator, and Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response at the World Health Organization (WHO), released a joint statement announcing that they are “working intensively” to halt any further spread. Surveillance is being stepped up at all…
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Congo’s Health Minister resigns after President takes control of Ebola response

Congo’s Health Minister resigns after President takes control of Ebola response

The health minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo offered his resignation after the President of the country decided to move the mandate for the Ebola response directly under his supervision. Ilunga's move came after DRC President Felix Tshisekedi's office announced on Saturday it was assigning responsibility for the response to a multi-disciplinary team that would report directly to Tshisekedi. "As a result of your decision to place the response to the Ebola outbreak under your direct supervision ... I hereby submit my resignation as health minister," Ilunga said. "As in any war, because that is what this is, there cannot…
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WHO reports new Ebola incident in Uganda

WHO reports new Ebola incident in Uganda

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared today on Wednesday that a new case of Ebola has been spotted in Uganda for the second time in a row, fuelling concerns that the virus may be spreading beyond Democratic Republic of Congo, as an expert panel weighs whether to sound the alarm internationally. The latest case concerns a female fishmonger who was sick at Mpondwe market in Uganda on July 11 before dying of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo. An incident that could spread the disease in Uganda, the World Health Organization reported on Wednesday. https://twitter.com/WHOUganda/status/1138512945732816896 WHO said in a report…
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UPDATED: First Ebola case in Congo city of Goma detected, two aid workers killed

UPDATED: First Ebola case in Congo city of Goma detected, two aid workers killed

The first case of Ebola in the eastern Congo city of Goma was discovered on Sunday, officials said, raising concerns the virus could spread quicker in a densely populated area close to the Rwandan border. Goma, a lakeside city of 1 million people, is more than 350 km south of where the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record was first detected a year ago. But the haemorrhagic fever has gradually spread south, infecting nearly 2,500 people and killing more than 1,600. The patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, 200 km north of…
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Midday Dispatch – Corporate and Financial News

Midday Dispatch – Corporate and Financial News

Donald Trump has launched a stinging attack on cryptocurrencies, including Facebook’s proposed Libra coin, and warned that the social media network might be subject to full banking regulation if it is to launch the project.  France also appears to be opposed to Facebook’s plans, ahead of G7 meeting next week that will be hosted by Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister. Financial Times The three main indexes in the US, hit record intraday highs on Friday, continuing a strong run for the week on hopes of an interest rate cut this month, while investors waited for the start of the…
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Congolese warlord, know  as The Terminator, convicted of war crimes by ICC

Congolese warlord, know  as The Terminator, convicted of war crimes by ICC

A former rebel leader has been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo by judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed "Terminator", who is originally from Rwanda, was convicted of 18 counts, including murder, rape and using child soldiers. His lawyers had argued that Ntaganda was a victim, having also been recruited as a child soldier. He becomes the fourth person convicted by the ICC since its creation in 2002. Ntaganda surrendered at the US embassy in DR Congo in 2013. Analysts said it was an act of self-preservation,…
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WHO considering declaring a global health emergency because of Ebola in Uganda and Congo

WHO considering declaring a global health emergency because of Ebola in Uganda and Congo

  Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, in comments to the Associated Press (AP) , said that it was a Congolese pastor who is thought to have caused the Ebola outbreak’s spread into Uganda and his sickness was unknown to health officials before he died of the disease. Ryan said that this underlines the problems in tracking the virus as a WHO expert panel on Friday discusses whether to declare a global health emergency. As a third relative of the pastor found infected in Uganda died Ryan told AP and added that he did not believe the…
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Two more Ebola cases diagnosed in Uganda as child dies from disease

Two more Ebola cases diagnosed in Uganda as child dies from disease

The year-old Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is now spreading to neighboring countries, as a five-year-old  boy in Uganda died from the disease and two of his close relatives there were infected. The boy is from a Congolese family who had crossed into western Uganda on June 9, was the first confirmed case of Ebola outside the Democratic Republic of Congo since the highly infectious illness erupted there  last summer. The Ugandan government has reported at least six other suspected cases of the virus. The director-general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that…
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Ebola case confirmed in Uganda

Ebola case confirmed in Uganda

  Uganda’s health ministry says a patient has tested positive for Ebola in what is the first cross-border case of the deadly virus since an outbreak started in neighbouring DR Congo last year. The ministry said the patient is a Congolese woman in a district near the DRC border. Though Uganda has had multiple outbreaks of Ebola since 2000, this is the first that spread over from Congo ever since the latest outbreak last year. Local health officials had been monitoring the border and isolating probable Ebola patients to avoid this from happening. https://twitter.com/WHOUganda/status/1138512945732816896 There have been more than 2,000…
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24 die in third train derailing incident in a month in Congo

24 die in third train derailing incident in a month in Congo

At least 24 people have been killed and 31 injured in a train accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to police and medical services. Al Jazeera reports that a freight train was carrying stowaways on Sunday when it derailed in Bena Leka settlement, 140km north of Kananga, one of Kasai province's main towns. "We have retrieved 24 bodies, mostly children. It is a provisional toll because the wagons are still overturned," a railway police official in Bena Leka told AFP news agency. "Most of the passengers are stowaways because it is a freight train. We have suspended the search…
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Sunday Morning Briefing and News Paper Review

Sunday Morning Briefing and News Paper Review

Good morning, Your morning briefing gives you a roundup of the main headlines from the world and the main stories reported in today's front pages of Malta's newspapers. Latest Headlines  Left-wing Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti, who was on the run from Brazilian authorities, has been captured in Bolivia, an adviser to President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday. Battisti, a founding member of far-left Italian radical group Armed Proletarians for Communism, was convicted in absentia in 1993 of four political killings committed in the 1970s and sentenced to life in prison. The 63-year-old has maintained his innocence. - Italian Media  A powerful explosion and fire apparently…
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Wildlife crime: global seizures and arrests in transcontinental operation

Wildlife crime: global seizures and arrests in transcontinental operation

Interpol: An international operation against the illegal trade in wildlife and timber has seen hundreds of seizures worldwide as well as suspects arrested. Codenamed Thunderstorm and targeting the people and networks behind global wildlife crime, the operation involved police, customs, border, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 92 countries and resulted in millions of dollars-worth of seizures. The month-long (1-31 May) operation has so far brought 1,974 seizures and the identification of some 1,400 suspects, triggering arrests and investigations worldwide. Further arrests and prosecutions are foreseen as ongoing investigations unfold. Total worldwide seizures reported to date include: 43 tonnes of wild…
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WHO preparing for worst case scenario in new Ebola outbreak

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the north-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are two confirmed cases of the virus and 17 deaths, the health ministry said on Tuesday. The incident in the town of Bikoro comes more than a year after an outbreak in the country killed four people. In 2014. more than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The outbreak declaration was made after laboratory results confirmed two cases of Ebola out of a sample of five suspected patients, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. The World Health Organization (WHO) has…
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