Democratic Republic of the Congo

Politics • African
DR Congo: Growing Ebola outbreak, 48 reported cases
This 1995 photograph shows scientist with personal protective equipment (PPE) testing samples from animals collected in Zaire for the Ebola virus.
This 1995 photograph shows scientist with personal protective equipment (PPE) testing samples from animals collected in Zaire for the Ebola virus. Credit: Photo Credit:Content Providers(s): CDC/ Ethleen Lloyd / Public domain

The western Democratic Republic of Congo reports 48 Ebola cases since June 1st. 20 people have died. WHO emergency expert Mike Ryan: "This is still a very active outbreak, and I would say it is still a great concern."

Even though numbers are still low, Ryan voices concerns: "In the era of COVID, it is very important that we do not take our eyes off these other emerging diseases."

Politics • African
DR Congo: Célestin Tunda resigns as Justice Minister

The Justice Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo Célestin Tunda resigned on Saturday after a dispute with President Felix Tshisekedi. Tunda did not give a reason for his resignation which he announced in a televised statement. Tunda opposed changes in the law that would give politicians more control over criminal prosecutions.

Politics • African
DR Congo: Vital Kamerhe, President Tshisekedi’s chief of staff, found guilty for corruption
Vital Kamerhe in the Polish Senate
Vital Kamerhe in the Polish Senate Credit: The Chancellery of the Senate of the Republic of Poland / CC BY-SA 3.0 PL (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Chief of staff of the Democratic Republic of Congo Vital Kamerhe was found guilty in $50 million corruption and embezzlement case. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail with forced labour. Kamerhe was also disqualified from voting and holding a public office for ten years and faces financial penalties and confiscations of various assets. Samith Jammal, one of Kamerhe's collaborators, was also jailed.

Politics • African
DR Congo: Judge who presided over president's chief of staff died of stab wounds, not heart attack
Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi signs the guest book, at the Department of State, on March 3, 2020
Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi signs the guest book, at the Department of State, on March 3, 2020 Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States / Public domain

Judge Raphael Yanyi was presiding over the trial of Vital Kamerhe, chief of staff and ally of DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi. Police had reported Yanyi died of a heart attack. An autopsy has found "he died a violent death, due to the blows of sharp points or knife-like objects, which were thrust into his head". The justice ministry has now launched a murder investigation.

Politics • African
DR Congo: UN experts murder suspect arrested

Militia leader Trésor Mputu Kankonde was arrested on Saturday for his involvement in the killing of two UN experts. United Nations experts Zaida Catalana and Michael Sharp were killed in 2017. They were investigating mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo which were a result of the Kamwina Nsapu rebellion between the Kamwina Nsapu militia (Black Ant) and the Congolese security forces.

Health
WHO confirms second Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo
World Health Organisation headquarters, Geneva
World Health Organisation headquarters, Geneva Credit: Yann Forget (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The World Health Organization has confirmed a second Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo with six infected and four dead people so far. According to officials, the outbreak has taken place in the Équateur Province and the country's national medical research organization INRB is currently analyzing samples for secondary confirmation. In addition to the new Ebola cases, the country also battles the Covid-19 pandemic and the world's largest measles outbreak.