Daily Archives: June 13, 2020

Militants Kill 20 Soldiers, 40 Civilians in Northeast Nigeria Attacks

Islamic militants killed at least 20 soldiers and more than 40 civilians and injured hundreds in twin attacks in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state Saturday, residents and a civilian task force fighter said.

The attacks, in the Monguno and Nganzai local government areas, came just days after militants killed at least 69 people in a raid on a village in a third area, Gubio.

Two humanitarian workers and three residents told Reuters that militants armed with heavy weaponry including rocket launchers arrived in Monguno, a hub for international non-governmental organizations, at roughly 11 a.m. local time. They overran government forces, taking some casualties but killing at least 20 soldiers and roaming the area for three hours.

The sources said hundreds of civilians were injured in the crossfire, overwhelming the local hospital and forcing some of the injured to lie outside the facility awaiting help.

The militants also burned down the United Nations’ humanitarian hub in the area and set on fire the local police station. Fighters distributed letters to residents, in the local Hausa language, warning them not to work with the military or international aid groups.

Militants also entered Nganzai about the same time Saturday, according to two residents and one Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) fighter. They arrived on motorcycles and in pickup trucks and killed more than 40 residents, the sources said.

A military spokesman did not answer calls for comment on the attacks. U.N. officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria. ISWAP claimed the two Saturday attacks, and the Gubio attack.

 

Source: Voice of America

WHO Expects to Quickly Tackle DR Congo’s New Ebola Outbreak

The World Health Organization says lessons learned from previous outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo and effective therapeutics will allow it to more quickly contain a new outbreak of the deadly disease in Equateur Province.

U.N. health officials report there is no link between the Ebola outbreak declared June 1 in Mbandaka, Equateur Province, and the epidemic, which broke out nearly two years ago in DR Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

They say the experience gained, however, and lessons learned from tackling this deadly disease in eastern DRC will help them to more quickly stop the spread of the virus in Equateur Province in the western part of the country.

WHO Emergency Operations Manager Michel Yao says the World Health Organization has more than 20 staff on the ground and is ready to send in more, if necessary.  He tells VOA that the WHO is working with partners to set up treatment centers, to monitor risks and respond promptly to identify and trace new cases.

“Our objective this time is to work through local authorities that were already trained,” Yao said. “They had some experience.  So, we have just to refresh and we have to remain behind coaching them.  Lesson learned remain the critical one is to work through the community.”

The epidemic in eastern DRC, which has infected more than 3,460 people and killed 2,280, finally appears to be winding down.  The latest reports from western DRC, where the outbreak has just started, put the number of confirmed and probable cases at 12, including nine deaths.

Two years ago, the same region was stricken with Ebola.  It took less than four months to contain the outbreak with the help of an experimental vaccine, which provided protection against the virus.

Yao says the vaccines, which since have proven to be safe and effective, will help to speedily contain the virus.  So far, he says, more than 600 people have been vaccinated in Mbandaka and Wangata health zones.  He says 3,000 doses of the vaccine are in place and more are expected to be delivered soon.

 

 

Source: Voice of America