Congo: in addition to Covid-19, Ebola reappears. There are already 5 cases of contagion

Frammenti Africani

Frammenti Africani è un resoconto giornalistico di tematiche complesse del Continente Africano, futuro epicentro economico mondiale, dove coesistono potenze economiche e militari, crescita economica a due cifre, guerre, colpi di stato, masse di giovani disoccupati e una borghesia in piena crescita.
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Fulvio Beltrami

Fulvio Beltrami
Originario del Nord Italia, sposato con un'africana, da dieci anni vivo in Africa, prima a Nairobi ora a Kampala. Ho lavorato nell’ambito degli aiuti umanitari in vari paesi dell'Africa e dell'Asia.
Da qualche anno ho deciso di condividere la mia conoscenza della Regione dei Grandi Laghi (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, ed Est del Congo RDC) scrivendo articoli sulla regione pubblicati in vari siti web di informazione, come Dillinger, FaiNotizia, African Voices. Dal 2007 ho iniziato la mia carriera professionale come reporter per l’Africa Orientale e Occidentale per L’Indro.
Le fonti delle notizie sono accuratamente scelte tra i mass media regionali, fonti dirette e testimonianze. Un'accurata ricerca dei contesti storici, culturali, sociali e politici è alla base di ogni articolo.



Frammenti Africani

Apr 19

Congo: in addition to Covid-19, Ebola reappears. There are already 5 cases of contagion

The reappearance of Ebola in eastern provinces of DRC, is a source of strong concerns for the WHO and for the Congolese and regional health authorities as it fits into the difficult context of containing the coronavirus pandemic in the midst of an unconventional military conflict between Congo Rwanda and Burundi

di Fulvio Beltrami

congo, ebola, coronavirus, covid-19, fdlr, conflct, conspirancy theories, who, ruanda, burundi


The World Health Organization confirms the alarm launched two days ago by the Congolese Ministry of Health: the risk of an epidemic from Ebola has returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after the announcement of the end of the epidemic that broke out in August 2018 made at the early March.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director of Ethiopian origin, in an official statement informs that 5 new cases of contagion from Ebola have been recorded in the eastern province of North Kivu. Two of them have had a fatal outcome. «The origins of the infection are still unclear and are subject to careful investigation. It is not excluded that there may be other cases of infection not yet identified, " says Dr. Tedros.

The new cases have been identified in the city of Beni (North Kivu), close to the border with Uganda. The incubation period of the virus is 21 days. Beni has been the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic since December 2018. An epidemic blocked with difficulty that has contaminated tens of thousands of people, killing 2,274. The most serious epidemic in the country since 1976 which, thanks to the joint efforts of the Congolese Ministry of Health and WHO, has failed to spread regionally. About 320,000 people received doses of two experimentally used Ebola vaccines with positive results.

Beni, since 2016 is also the epicenter of unheard of violence carried out by the Rwandan terrorist group FDLR against the civilian population, part of an extermination project of the Nande ethnic group conceived by the former President Joseph Kabila. The attempted genocide has now been stopped by the new President Felix Tshisekedi thanks to the military cooperation of the Rwandan army and joint offensives falling under Operation East Corridor.

The reappearance of Ebola is a source of serious concern to the WHO and the Congolese and regional health authorities as it fits into the difficult context of the containment of the pandemic from Covid-19. Congo. As of March 10, 241 cases of infection have been confirmed with a total of 20 deaths and 20 people recovered. Although the epicenter remains the capital: Kinshasa, the infection is also appearing in other provinces. In the east there are 4 cases in South Kivu, 5 in North Kivu and 2 cases in Ituri.

As with other African countries, the confinement measures adopted in Italy, China and other western states are not possible due to the extreme poverty and job insecurity that would lead to the emergence of mass riots, as Kinshasa's experience teaches. During the first few weeks of infection, it was found that the 'zero' cases came from Europe. This has led to serious xenophobic violence against whites, among them that which took place in the capital on 3 April.

In this difficult phase, where WHO and the Ministry of Health find themselves having to contain two epidemics at the same time, the role of civil society in the east of the country is once again taking on negative and harmful connotations for public health. Kizito Bin Hangi, President of Beni's civil society, questioned the news of the 5 new cases of Ebola given by the WHO. «The population does not understand how after 50 days the infection reappeared. We demand a new autopsy by exhuming the corpse of the deceased suspect of having died from Ebola for further confirmation ».

The request of Beni's civil society is in the first place completely unacceptable as there nobody can take the risk of expanding the infection by exhuming the victim's body. Like Coronavirus, Ebola also has an impressive contagion rate.

The request denotes total distrust of the Congolese health authorities and WHO experts. A distrust that originates in absurd conspiracy theories where the government of Kinshasa and the WHO is accused of being complicit in a plot orchestrated by Rwanda to exterminate the Congolese population in the east of the country through biochemical weapons. Without any evidence, civil society and ex-presidential candidate Martin Fauylu accuse Rwanda of introducing Ebola into North Kivu to provoke a health genocide.

They also accused the WHO of supporting this diabolical Rwandan plan, stating that even experimental vaccines and treatment centers were actually tools designed to kill the inhabitants of the country's eastern provinces.

These accusations without evidence and completely out of reality, are spread through social media, receiving the support of several pastors of Protestant sects, real religious fanatics crusading against the Great Satan, Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda. These fakenews prevented Congolese health authorities and the WHO from overcoming the Ebola epidemic in time. From the first cases of 2018, Congolese health authorities were forced to fight against these conspiracy theories that convinced the population not to collaborate for a quick epidemic containment.

The danger of these disinformation campaigns has come to lead to acts of blind violence, including the burning of numerous Ebola treatment centers in North Kivu. Experts say that those who spread these fakenews during the epidemic are responsible for the delayed time of containment and for various lost human lives as they are convinced that the treatments reserved for them were actually euthanasia policies promoted by Rwanda.

Now the same accusations are also made against Rwanda for Coronavirus. According to various representatives of eastern Congo civil society and religious fanatics, Covid-19 was also introduced by the will of President Kagame to exterminate the Congolese people.

These health conspiracy theories are accompanied by an intense propaganda of fake news and racial hatred always directed towards Rwanda. Social media is circulating rumors of an invasion of the Congo by Rwandan soldiers who would have operational bases near Goma (capital of the province of North Kivu). The invasion theory is supported by the GEC (Congo Study Group) and Human Rights Watch. Two international associations known for their Rwandophobia.

The presence of Rwandan troops in eastern Congo is not a news and is not part of any invasion plan. The RDF (Rwanda Defense Forces) are present by virtue of bilateral military cooperation agreements signed on march 2019 between the governments of Kinshasa and Kigali to free the east of Congo from the 140 armed groups that for over 20 years have been responsible for the underdevelopment of the provinces and beyond 2 million deaths among civilians. Among them, the Rwandan terrorist group FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) responsible for the 1994 genocide.

Thanks to Operation East Corridor, the FARDC (Congolese army) and the RDF are eradicating these armed groups. Operations monitored by MONUSCO's blue helmets. The FDLR have suffered a series of major defeats and two Supreme Chiefs killed, causing the disarray of the General Staff. Now the majority of the FDLR militiamen are in Burundi protected by the dictator Pierre Nkurunziza.

Civil society in eastern Congo is strangely silent on the troop movements that began in South Kivu two weeks ago. Columns of FDLR terrorists, FDR militants and CNRD (two minor Rwandan armed groups) supported by Burundian Imbonerakure militiamen and loyalists from the Burundian army regime crossed the Congolese border. The goal according to well-informed sources is to prepare for an invasion of Rwanda.

Congo's health situation, (one of the poorest and most disastrous African countries) is becoming alarming. The scenario of having to simultaneously contain two dangerous and deadly epidemics is emerging: Coronavirus and Ebola.

All compounded by military maneuvers carried out by the HutuPower genocidal forces with the aim of triggering a regional war. The fake news and racial hatred propaganda promoted by certain sectors of Congolese civil society and religious fanatics are taking on the connotation of a serious attack on national public health and peace in the Great Lakes region.

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