Wednesday , April 21 2021

Sixteen WHO Ebola officials were evacuated amid clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo

BENI, DR CongoThe World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that 16 workers were temporarily evacuated from the eastern Beni town of Beni after a projectile struck the building where they were staying.

The incident occurred in the area plagued by Ebola during clashes between the peacekeeping force of the Monusco mission and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia on Friday night.

"It was in exchange for shots that the house was hit by a grenade," said Michel Yao, WHO coordinator for Ebola response operations in Beni. AFP.

No one was injured, he said, adding that it is not known whether the shell came from the militia, UN peacekeepers or the Congolese army that supported them.

The 16 WHO staff, out of a total of 191 in Beni, were "traumatized" and left for the eastern city of Goma to "relieve stress," Yao said.

"It's a two-story house and the staff took refuge downstairs. The bomb fell on the ceiling of a bathroom," he said.

It was the first time that WHO had to evacuate officials from Beni, where an Ebola outbreak killed 213 people since August 1.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced that efforts to combat the deadly virus in Beni were halted after clashes within a few meters of a local emergency center and hotels with several response teams.

The ministry said UN and army forces have repelled the ADF attack, an armed group that has killed hundreds of people since 2014 and at least seven peacekeepers in clashes this week. – AFP

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