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  • A United Nations ambulance drives along a street in Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo 16/11/2018 11:16.

    A United Nations ambulance drives along a street in Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo 16/11/2018 11:16. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 18 November 2018

16 Eboala emergency response staff evactuated from building hit by shell during exchange of fire, in Beni, DRC.

On Friday night, a shell impacted an emergency center forcing the evacuation of 16 staff in Beni, a major city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

RELATED:
Ebola Epidemic Breaking Records, Threatens Region-Wide Outbreak

"It was in exchanges of fire that the house was hit by a shell," Michel Yao, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Coordinator, told AFP.

The Ministry of Health blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel group.

The conflict environment is the main issue, forcing health workers to postpone their task of containing the worst ebola outbreak in the country.

United Nations peacekeepers, the Congolese army and the rebel group exchanged fired during the moment of the attack, for reasons unknown, according to the BBC.  

The attacks happening near their emergency response facilities endanger the lives of emergency responders and the fighting prevents them from getting to some of the hardest-hit areas.

In Beni alone, the Ebola outbreak has killed 213 civilians since August, 2018.

There have been two such outbreaks this year alone, but in total, this is the 10th outbreak that struck the DRC since 1976.

On October 22nd, the UN Secretary General addressed the conflict in the DRC saying he is “outraged by the continued killing and abduction of civilians by armed groups” close to Beni, and added, concerning the killings of two health workers helping contain the Ebola outbreak, that he was “deeply troubled.”

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