Easter Sunday Afternoon Brings Sad News… Of New, And Deadly, Butembo Ebola Health Center Violence

As of Good Friday, we updated our last on the DRC Ebola crisis — with a link to a story on the murder of a Cameroonian MD, working in the MSF health center in Katwa district, Butembo, DRC. Others were also injured in that attack.

As of yesterday, then, heavily-armed DRC government troops were deployed to protect the centers in Butembo and Beni. Overnight, in a fresh wave of attacks, one machete-wielding attacker was shot dead by the troops defending the lives of the patients and health workers. Here’s a bit of the awful news, from the AP:

. . . .Butembo city’s deputy mayor, Patrick Kambale Tsiko, told The Associated Press that the attackers armed with machetes tried to burn down the center in Katwa district overnight. Military and police guarding the center killed one militia member and detained five others, he said. . . .

With up to a quarter of Butembo’s population believing that Ebola is not a real disease, but a subterfuge of some sort to oppress, and take power — from the marginalized peoples of the DRC — this is going to be a very, very difficult outbreak to contain. Daily now, between ten and twenty new cases are being identified, largely from previously unknown transmission chains. This will be a multi year effort to arrest the spread, and end new cases / achieve containment, from here.

Truly unfortunate — and if the history of central Africa wasn’t rife with examples of the powerful dehumanizing the poor and the weak, perhaps this current violence would be less understandable. But it seems substantial portions of the DRC’s urban population is — in many ways trapped — by their own not-so-distant history. And that is. . . truly pathological.

[And all of this is in addition to the unspeakable terrorism in Sri Lanka, of this morning. Chant to your version of the Infinite, for more. . . understanding, among peoples. . . please.]


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