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More Than 300,000 Flee Violence In Congo, Complicating Ebola Epidemic

By Kelsey Marie

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According to the United Nations refugee agency, the Congolese people are fleeing the country’s violence at a “massive scale.”

This violence stems from a resurgence of ethnic clashes between the farming and herding communities.

Since the beginning of June, more than 300,000 have fled the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

During the past week, there have been at least 161 people killed.

“Violence in northeastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo is reported to have displaced more than 300,000 since early June. The situation in Ituri province has deteriorated since the middle of last week, with multiple attacks involving the Itema and Lendu groups,” the U.N. refugee agency spokesman, Babar Baloch, said.

The massive amount of Congolese people fleeing is making it more difficult to trace and treat patients at risk for Ebola.

Baloch also told a news briefing that as more of the Congolese flee, they will try to seek safety in Uganda, further spreading the disease.

As of last week, the Ebola epidemic in Congo has spread to Uganda.

Since August, this disease has caused 2,168 infections and 1,449 deaths.

“So every time you have people moving in high numbers, it is more complicated to do the work of follow-up, contact tracing, follow up on the people who are supposed basically to be observed on a daily basis for 21 days,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said about the disease’s incubation period.

The Congolese government is attempting to bring the violence under control.

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Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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