Connect with us

Anttention Fresh

Uganda: DR Congo Refugees Escaping Violence Risk Spreading Ebola to Uganda

Published

on

People fleeing violence in an Ebola-hit region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are being forced to cross the border illegally into Uganda, risking the virus spreading into the neighboring East African nation, aid groups said on Friday.

More than 60,000 people in Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Beni region in North Kivu province have left their homes since the latest wave of armed attacks began on March 30.

While some have found legal refuge in Uganda, others are being used as human shields by armed groups who prevent them from reaching official border points to be registered, screened for Ebola and given sanctuary.

Uganda will continue to keep its doors open to refugees as this is our policy. We must allow those people who need refuge to come to Uganda, but we must also be vigilant not to compromise the health of the people of our country.

As a result, some displaced people are forced to cross illegally into Uganda – trekking through dense forests or taking boats across a shared lake – raising the risk of the virus spreading undetected.

“These unofficial crossings are placing people in search of refuge at an increased and totally unnecessary risks of sexual exploitation and abuse,” said Francis Iwa, executive director of Care for Forced Migrants (CAFOMI), a Kampala-based charity.

“Once they enter Uganda, they also are avoiding official immigration procedures and registration as refugees – which means they may not be screened for Ebola and will be unable to access the very services prepared to assist them.”

CAFOMI is one of 18 charities, including Oxfam, Action Against Hunger, Care, Catholic Relief Services, Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children, warning Congolese and Ugandan authorities of a potential humanitarian crisis.

Musa Ecweru, Uganda’s minister for disaster management and refugee affairs, said surveillance teams and authorities along the border were on red alert for suspected cases of Ebola.

“Uganda will continue to keep its doors open to refugees as this is our policy,” Ecweru told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Kampala.

“We must allow those people who need refuge to come to Uganda, but we must also be vigilant not to compromise the health of the people of our country.”

Congo’s Beni region has been at the epicentre of an Ebola outbreak since August 2018. It has infected an estimated 1,495 people and killed 984 in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

The outbreak of the virus, which causes severe vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding, is the second largest behind the 2013-16 West African epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people.

Attacks by armed groups on civilians, Congolese soldiers and U.N. peacekeepers have hampered efforts to contain the epidemic.

Congolese officials blame rebels from a Ugandan Islamist group in the area for dozens of attacks that killed hundreds of civilians over the past five years.

Independent experts say other factions and Congolese soldiers are also responsible. The charities said tens of thousands of displaced people were trapped between Uganda and Beni by armed groups.

“The fighting makes it very difficult, if not impossible sometimes, for our teams to reach some of these areas of displacement,” said Dana Hughes, East Africa and Great Lakes regional spokesperson for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

 


@ Anttention Fresh,                
We work hard to ensure that any news brought to you is legitimate and valuable so we leave out the noise. This material, and other digital content on this website, may be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part BUT give us credit as your source. 

DOWNLOAD ANTTENTION FRESH NEWS ON THE GO APP
JOIN AN ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITY CLICK IMAGEonline training

24 Hours Across Africa

Female robber escaping through a window at the bank

Published

on

A female robber trying to escaping through the window after robbing a bank in Adum area of Kumasi in Ghana.

In the video, the lady threw the money down from the window and jumped down to get the money, but she was caught and arrested by the bank’s security operatives.

The details of the lady is still unknown as at the time of filling this report

Continue Reading

24 Hours Across Africa

South Africa returness receive a token from Lagos State Governor

Published

on

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State gave N20,000 to each 315 Nigerians evacuated from South Africa.

This second batch of returnees arrived a week after another 187 Nigerians fleeing xenophobia came back from South Africa. The returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The flight, which originated from the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg was received by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema. Also on ground was Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Diaspora.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Advertisement
Flag Counter
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Anttention Media. All rights reserved