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Humanitarian crisis worsen in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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A humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is worsening and has reached catastrophic levels in some parts of the country, with millions facing severe hunger, the UN Security Council warned.

At least 13.1 million Congolese are in need of humanitarian aid including 7.7 million who are severely food insecure, said a unanimous statement from the top UN body.

The humanitarian crisis has been compounded by a doubling over the past year of the number of Congolese fleeing violence in the country who now total close to 4.4 million.

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Council members “expressed great concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation, which has reached catastrophic levels in some parts of the country”, said the statement.

The council “emphasized the need to address the presence of armed groups in the country” and renewed its call for “transparent, credible and inclusive elections”.

Kinshasa authorities have set a date of December 23 to hold historic elections but it remains unclear whether President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, will step aside to allow a transition.

UN officials fear the country could slide into all-out violence as the countdown to the elections begin.

An international conference will be held in Geneva on April 13 to mobilise funding for a $1.7 billion humanitarian appeal for the DR Congo — four times the amount secured last year.

The United Nations has declared the humanitarian crisis in the DR Congo to be a Level 3, the UN’s highest-level emergency.

The council statement followed a meeting on Monday on the crisis.

At that meeting, the US head of the international development agency, Mark Green, said the Kabila government had done “so little to alleviate suffering, even as many of its leaders have apparently been lining their pockets.”

The Kabila family owns either partially or wholly more than 80 of the largest businesses in the country and more than 450 miles of diamond concessions, Green said, quoting the Congo Research Group.

 

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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– Vanguard

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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