Worsening Ebola Crisis Leaves UN Security Council With Few Options – African News – African News Network | Latest African News | Nigerian News | Breaking News
Connect with us

African News

Worsening Ebola Crisis Leaves UN Security Council With Few Options

Published

on

 

Mark Eccleston-Turner, Keele University

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is quickly becoming an international concern. With 489 people diagnosed with the disease and 280 deaths, it is already the second largest Ebola outbreak in history (although still dwarfed by the 2014 West Africa outbreak). While the DRC has a good track record of responding to these outbreaks, the ongoing military conflict in the country is making the response much more difficult.

Healthcare workers have been attacked, vaccination campaigns halted and, most recently, experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were recalled from an outbreak zone due to security fears. This is all despite the DRC hosting the UN’s largest peacekeeping force, MONUSCO (Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en République démocratique du Congo).

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the body responsible for maintaining international peace and security, acknowledged the situation in the DRC by issuing a resolution (resolution 2439) that calls for an end to the violence so that humanitarian groups can have better access to the region.

READ:  Algeria: Opposition To Participate In Governance After Election

This is not the first time the UNSC has been involved in an Ebola outbreak. In 2014 it passed a resolution on the West African Ebola outbreak. This was the first and only UNSC resolution to acknowledge a health issue as a threat to peace and security. The resolution didn’t lead to military intervention, but it greatly improved the response in West Africa. The UNSC asked for resources and action, and the international community responded promptly.

This time, though, the UNSC response is much weaker. It condemns the killing of healthcare workers, calls for peace on both sides (which has been ignored) and calls on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to continue its leadership on Ebola, but does not say much else. With the violence continuing, the number of cases and deaths from Ebola rising, and the withdrawal of international health experts, it is likely that the UNSC will need to return to this issue – this time with a more robust response. But what form might this response take?

A Congolese child saluting a MONUSCO peacekeeper.
Abel Kavanagh/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

No easy options

One option is for the UNSC to do nothing. It could view the conflict as the responsibility of the DRC government, Ebola as the responsibility of the WHO and partner health agencies, and the mandate of MONUSCO being limited to traditional peacekeeping operations. Given the escalating situation, though, this option seems unlikely.

READ:  Zimbabweans In South Africa Prepare To Send Groceries Home To Battle Inflation

Another option is for the UNSC to draft another resolution, this time clearly linking the conflict in the DRC and Ebola. It would use stronger language than the last resolution to encourage an end to fighting and inspire the international response necessary to end the Ebola outbreak. A stronger resolution would reiterate the importance of the issue and draw international attention and resources to Ebola. However, without peace and security being assured, the international community is unlikely to send resources and people to the affected areas.

A more likely option appears to be expanding the role of the MONUSCO peacekeepers to take a more active role in protecting healthcare workers in the DRC so that healthcare workers can safely carry out their work. While the UNSC has moved away from authorising military-led peacekeeping missions, the fact that there is a peacekeeping force already in the DRC means an expansion of their mandate is more likely.

READ:  EU Calls For Transparency Ahead Of Mali's Election Run-off On Sunday

In particular, MONUSCO could create and maintain a corridor of safety when combatants are only engaged by peacekeepers if they enter this area. The UNSC created such a zone in the Iraq-Kuwait conflict as a form of humanitarian intervention so that water and aid could be delivered to civilians within the corridor.

Creating a safety zone around the Ebola outbreaks could allow healthcare professionals to carry out their work in safety and may inspire international assistance to flow into the area where it is so badly needed. While mission creep within peacekeeping operations is rightly subject to considerable criticism, if the situation in the DRC worsens, it may be the only option.The Conversation

Mark Eccleston-Turner, Lecturer of Law, Keele Law School, Keele University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

African News

Ethiopian Airlines Says Compensation Payment To Victims’ Families Is Underway

Published

on

By

Ethiopian Airlines Says Compensation Payment To Victims' Families Is Underway

Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam says, the airline, has began distributing compensation payments to families of victims who died in last month’s devastating plane crash, near Addis Ababa.

All 157 persons on-board the Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 MAX 8 were killed when it came down shortly after take-off.

READ:  Algeria: Opposition To Participate In Governance After Election

Gebremariam said, the airline is working alongside insurance companies to establish victims’ identities to distribute compensation and the necessary authorities to follow up on the march tenth tragedy.

READ:  President Kabila To Address DR Congo

He says, Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet since the tragedy, and will decide on whether or not to continue future orders with Boeing once both parties make careful considerations and jointly find solutions to the issues.

READ:  Moise Katumbi's Passport Cancelled

Continue Reading

African News

US To Toughen Measures Against Africans Who Overstay Short-Term Visas

Published

on

By

US To Toughen Measures Against Africans Who Overstay Short-Term Visas

The United States has announced tough new measures against Africans who overstay their short-term visas in the country.  This is in concert with president Donald Trump’s efforts to curb immigration.

READ:  President Kabila To Address DR Congo

The wall street journal reports African national with high overstay rates, including Nigeria, Chad, Eritrea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, could be affected by the clamp-down.

READ:  DRC Opposition Party Talk To UN Over Leader's Return

In a 2017 report, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recorded the African countries to be among those, under the non-visa waiver program, whose nationals have the highest populations of overstays among non-immigrants in the United States.

READ:  Algeria: Opposition To Participate In Governance After Election

Continue Reading

African News

Advisor To The Presidential Ivanka Trump And OPIC Chief Announce $1Billion Women’s Investment Initiative

Published

on

By

Advisor To The Presidential Ivanka Trump And OPIC Chief Announce $1Billion Women's Investment Initiative

Advisor and daughter of the US President, Ivanka Trump, has joined with David Bohigian, acting president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, to announce the launch of OPIC’s initiative to support investment in women in Africa. The announcement was made during a U.S. government delegation to Ethiopia.

READ:  Nationwide Power Outage Hits Sudan Amid Anti-Government Protests

OPIC aims to unlock the full economic potential of women in Africa by catalyzing one billion dollars through the initiative, directly investing 350 million dollars in businesses and funds owned by women, led by women, or providing a good or service that intentionally empowers women on the continent.

READ:  DRC Opposition Party Talk To UN Over Leader's Return

The women’s initiative will advance the white house-led government commitment to empowering women globally.

Ivanka Trump said for women to succeed as entrepreneurs and job creators, they must have equal access to the financing necessary to start and grow their businesses,

READ:  Egypt Arrests 70 Persons Over Smuggling Of Migrants To Europe And North America

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, (OPIC), was established in 1971 as a self-sustaining U.S. government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets.

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe to ANN News Alert

Be the first to receive the latest news from Africa and around the world.

%d bloggers like this: