Medicine

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed in DR Congo

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed in DR Congo

The UN mission- MONUSCO - called for a "thorough investigation" into the massacre. Hundreds of buildings, including churches, schools and health centers, were damaged in the violence, it said. "The Mission reports that the security situation is now relatively calm, with national security forces having deployed to the area".

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is not only spreading but is extending southward into a "high security risk area", United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

During the epidemic in West Africa, the first case was registered in December 2013 in Guinea, and since then the disease has extended to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as to other states, including outside the region.

"The response to this latest outbreak continues to be hampered by insecurity, frequent movement of people in the affected areas, and resistance from some communities", said UNICEF.

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The report said that relatively high numbers of cases were reported in recent weeks, mostly driven by the outbreak in Katwa Health Zone, which is the current focus of large-scale response activities.

The UN and its humanitarian partners have dispatched emergency help in the form of medicine, food, water tablets and malaria kits, and further assistance is on the way.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said the United Nations health agency is investing a huge amount of resources into preventing Ebola from spreading outside DRC and helping governments' ramp up their readiness to respond should any country have a positive case of Ebola. Over a thousand people have been massacred in the area since 2014 by armed fighters and more than 230 past year, according to US-based rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch.

"[We are] ready to support the Congolese authorities to bring justice to the victims, and promote reconciliation between the two communities". The joint mission also visited the site where collective and individual graves had been discovered.