Blog: Islamic Militants and Ebola: Tough time in the Congo
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Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Three individuals in Bovata, DRC were the latest victims in Islamic Terror affiliated attacks in Africa, drawing attention to the persistent global threat. The attack came in an area near the border of Uganda that is already beset with an outbreak of Ebola.
The people three died last week in clashes in Bovata, DRC. Bovata is a small town in western DRC roughly 10 miles from the Ugandan border. A UN source and a local civil society leader claimed Witnesses at the scene of the attack reportedly blamed an armed group called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a criminal group possibly linked to the Islamic State (ISIL).
Several armed groups and criminal outfits operate in the eastern DRC. Earlier this month, President Felix Tshisekedi was quoted in news reports as saying he expected that the Islamic State might try to bolster its presence in the region following the destruction of its self-proclaimed caliphate centered in Syria and Iraq. If the threat of militant islamism was not severe enough, an Ebola epidemic is even more deadly.
A recent Ebola outbreak in the DRC complicate the already complex security environment. On April 20th, rebels attacked a hospital. It was another incident targeting treatment centers.
Ebola is a multifaceted threat in the DRC. Locals are at risk of infection and health workers are at risk of violence from a suspicious public. Aid workers face mistrust in some areas as they seek to contain the outbreak, which reportedly is the most severe in Congo’s history. A doctor who worked for the World Health Organization was last week in an attack on a hospital in Butembo
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the distrust is fueled by false rumors about treatments and preference for traditional medicine. The current Ebola virus outbreak has infected more than 1,200 people in two eastern provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the country’s health ministry. Among the infected, more than 760 people have died.
The identification of breaking events and the subsequent monitoring of their development is important. The ability to forecast what happens next is critical. Here is what we see:
7 Day Forecast: Hi-Risk on the DRC/Ugandan Border
Very low stability is forecasted for the next seven days in eastern DRC. Continued violence and no reprieve from the Ebola outbreak should preclude any travel to the region. Foreign aid workers and NGO’s will exercise extreme caution.
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