UN chief strongly condemns attack on DRC Ebola treatment center

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "strongly condemns" the recent deadly attack on an Ebola treatment center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.

A police officer was killed, and a health worker was shot but expected to recover, in the attack on Saturday in the eastern DRC city of Butembo, according to reports. 

"The secretary-general strongly condemns the recent attacks on Ebola treatment centers in the DRC," Dujarric said. "He sends condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the attacks and stresses that protecting civilians in conflict is a fundamental tenet of international humanitarian law. He emphasizes that civilians, including health workers, are not a target."

The spokesman also said that the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, visited the center after the Saturday attack. The center was also attacked the previous week, according to WHO.

The visit came as the UN health chief wound up a three-day mission to the country, during which he met with government officials, partner organizations and local responders.

Expressing sorrow over the deaths and injuries resulting from these attacks, the WHO chief said: "We have no choice except to continue serving the people here, who are among the most vulnerable in the world."

Since the latest Ebola outbreak beginning in August 2018, WHO has reported 921 Ebola cases including 582 deaths.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency