The World Health Organisation on Monday confirmed a second Ebola case in Congo. So far there are 19 suspect cases, including three deaths and two lab-confirmed cases. The first case was confirmed in Bas-Uele province in the north-east. The outbreak appears to be limited to that remote area, and there is no need for travel restrictions for the time being. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a continent-wide mechanism to monitor disease outbreaks, said it had activated its emergency operational centre to monitor the situation in Congo. The Central African country has suffered seven previous outbreaks of Ebola since the virus was discovered in the country in 1976. The last outbreak, in 2014, left 49 people dead. The haemorrhagic fever has been most detrimental in West Africa, where it claimed more than 11,000 lives in 2014 to 2015. The WHO declared Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that had been most effected by the epidemic, free of Ebola in 2016.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Regional Representative for West Africa, Liz Ahua, says massive displacement in Nigeria’s North-East zone poses great dangers of statelessness for victims. She said that if urgent actions were not to be taken, some of the 2.4 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, or refugees residing in neighbouring countries could lose their nationality and become stateless. She explained that displacement, whether caused by conflicts or natural disasters, was a root cause of statelessness which further increases the risk, if not urgently and properly tackled. She said that it could also become an obstacle to achieving durable solutions for displaced persons and prevent them from rebuilding their lives in dignity as well as impede return and relocation. The crises in the Lake Chad Basin region is a prime example where over 2.4 million people have been displaced by the conflict, including over 1.8 million IDPs in Nigeria. Over 200,000 Nigerians are living as refugees in neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon without adequate documentation.