Democratic Republic of Congo

UN appoints coordinator to tackle Ebola in DR Congo

David Gressly has been tasked with stopping the outbreak
The United Nations has named an emergency coordinator, David Gressly, to help deal with the outbreak of Ebola in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 1200 people have died in the outbreak. BBC Newsday asked Mr Gressly about the challenges he is facing in his new role.

(Picture: David Gressly.Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

IS 'active in eastern DR Congo'

Dear Jeanne

BBC News, Kampala

Intelligence chiefs from the Great Lakes region say the Islamic State (IS) group is taking advantage of insecurity in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo to set up a base in the country.

The intelligence chiefs are currently meeting in Uganda, where they are expected to draw up a strategy against the jihadist group and other militants in the region. The east of DR Congo is plagued by scores of militia groups, and lacks a strong government presence.

It is these conditions, according to the intelligence chiefs, that have made it easy for IS extremists to establish themselves.

IS said it carried out an attack in Kamango village in North Kivu province in April. Witnesses blamed an armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), that has ties to IS.

However, regional officials have said there was no evidence of IS involvement in the attack.

Kabila ally named DR Congo PM

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has named a prime minister - nearly four months after his own inauguration.

The veteran politician and current director general of the national railway company, Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba, was nominated by former President Joseph Kabila, who has retained significant power after his coalition won the vast majority of the parliamentary seats.

President Tshisekedi and Mr Kabila agreed to work together following a controversial election which many observers believe was won by another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu.

Earlier on Monday thousands of people welcomed home the opposition politician, Moise Katumbi, who had been in exile for three years.

Schoolgirls under attack in DR Congo

BBC World Service

An investigation into a conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has found that an alarming number of young girls were raped, abducted and forced to join a militia.

Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 50 female students and teachers from dozens of schools that were attacked in DR Congo's Kasai region between 2016 and 2017.

It says the girls were often placed on the front line in the conflict armed only with a broom or a kitchen utensil because of a local belief that the girls provided magical protection to the rest of the fighters.

At least 5,000 people were killed and more than a million displaced in the conflict between a local militia and government forces.

DR Congo crowds out to welcome Katumbi

Thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have lined up along the road leading to the main airport in the south-eastern city of Lubumbashi, in Katanga province, to welcome back exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi.

Mr Katumbi was the governor of the mineral-rich Katanga province for almost a decade, resigning in 2015 to prepare to run for the presidency.

However he fled the country in 2016 after falling out with former President Joseph Kabila and was later sentenced in absentia to 36 months in prison for illegally selling a property in Lubumbashi. He was acquitted of those charges last month.

Mr Katumbi attempted to return last year to contest December's presidential election but was blocked at the DR Congo border with Zambia.

He later backed Martin Fayulu, as a joint opposition coalition candidate, who lost to another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, in a controversial election.

Mr Katumbi's popularity is partly down to his job as the president of a great source of Congolese pride - football club TP Mazembe. He is also a successful businessman.

The BBC's Polly Muzalia has snapped these pictures of the crowds:

Supporters line up to welcome Moise Katumbi
BBC
Supporters line up to welcome Moise Katumbi
BBC

The health workers dying from Ebola in DR Congo

DR Congo's Ebola Response Coordinator on the challenges they face.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been struggling to control an outbreak of Ebola for the past nine months. The current outbreak is the second worst in Africa and has killed more than 1,000 people. Now health services say that 93 health workers have been infected with Ebola in the northern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri provinces. 34 of them have died.  Medical personnel usually work with protective clothing and are expected to observe the highest standard of safety when dealing with suspected Ebola patients. Newsday's Christophe Pons spoke to DR Congo's National Ebola Response Coordinator, Dr. Aaron Aruna.

(Photo: Health workers being disinfected in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo Credit: European Photopress Agency/ Hugh Kinsella Cunningham)
George Dufanda: Congolese barber turns haircuts into an art form
George Dufanda is a Congolese barber to the stars, with a style all of his own.

Deadly clashes at Ebola epicentre in DR Congo

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Ebola treatment centre in Butembo
Reuters
Ebola workers' efforts have been suspended after the fighting

There has been fighting in the Ebola epicentre in the Democratic Republic of Congo between government troops and a rebel force.

The mayor of Butembo said 12 people, mostly rebel fighters, had been killed in clashes with the Mai Mai militia.

The health ministry has issued an order suspending all the activities of Ebola response workers in the town until further notice.

More than 1,000 people have died in DR Congo as a result of the Ebola outbreak which began in August last year.

Suspects in UN murder case escape from jail

BBC World Service

A lawyer for two men arrested over the killing of two UN investigators in the Democratic Republic of Congo says his clients have escaped from prison.

Trésor Kabangu named them as Evariste Ilunga Lumu and Tshiaba Kanowa, saying they broke out of prison in the city of Kabanga overnight.

They are accused of murdering the investigators, an American and a Swede, as they probed alleged atrocities committed during fighting between the army and a local militia in the central Kasai region two years ago.

A UN peacekeeping official, Florence Marchal, said the escape revealed flaws in the Congolese justice system that needed fixing.

Fourteen people are on trial for the deaths of the investigators.

A map showing the location of the city of Kabanga in relation to the capital, Kinshasa.
BBC