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Archive for the category “Leadership”

Brexit: Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation – Communique de Presse – Pache: a Helsinki, Didier Guallaume et les Ministeres europeens reaffirment la femete de l’UE pour une gestion concertee et solidaire des consequences d’un Brexit sans accord (23.09.2019)

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Mali: Communique du Front pour la Sauvegarde de la Democratie (FSD) sur la tenue de l’Atelier de validation du project de Termes de reference du “Dialogue politique inclusif” – (21.09.2019)

USA: Rep. Engel, Rep. Schiff and Rep. Cummings letter to Secretary Pompeo on Ukraine (23.09.2019)

DRC Ebola outbreaks: Crisis update – 23 September 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared their tenth outbreak of Ebola in 40 years on 1 August 2018. The outbreak is centred in the northeast of the country, in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. With the number of cases having surpassed 3,000, it is now by far the country’s largest-ever Ebola outbreak. It is also the second-biggest Ebola epidemic ever recorded, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2014-2016.

During the first eight months of the epidemic, until March 2019, more than 1,000 cases of Ebola were reported in the affected region. However, between April and June 2019, this number has doubled, with a further 1,000 new cases reported in just these three months. Between early June and the beginning of August, the number of new cases notified per week was high, and averaged between 75 and 100 each week; in recent weeks, this has decreased slightly, but the number of new cases are still averaging around 70-75 per week.

Latest figures – information as of 19 September 2019; figures provided by DRC Ministry of Health via WHO.

  • 3,157 TOTAL CASES
  • 3,046 CONFIRMED CASES
  • 2,111 TOTAL DEATHS

Contributing to this is the difficulty in identifying and following up contacts of people diagnosed with Ebola. Since the beginning of the epidemic, only around half of the new reported Ebola cases have been identified as contacts of previous confirmed cases before falling ill and seeking treatment, or dying without receiving proper treatment for Ebola.

On 11 June 2019, Uganda announced that three people had been positively diagnosed with Ebola, the first cross-border cases since the outbreak began. After several weeks with no recorded cases, the Ugandan government announced a new case on 29 August; the patient, a young girl, sadly died.

On 14 July, the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, and a city of one million people. The patient, who had travelled from Butembo to Goma, was admitted to the MSF-supported Ebola Treatment Centre in Goma. After confirmation of lab results, the Ministry of Health decided to transfer the patient to Butembo on 15 July, where the patient died the following day.

On 30 July, a second person in Goma was diagnosed with Ebola; they died the next day and two more cases were announced.

In reaction to the first case found in Goma, on 17 July 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the current Ebola outbreak in DR Congo represents a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

In mid-August, the epidemic spread to neighbouring South Kivu province – becoming the third province in DRC to record cases in this outbreak – when a number of people became sick in Mwenga, 100 kilometres from Bukavu, the capital of the province.

Given the ongoing challenges in responding to the outbreak, MSF believes that Ebola-related activities should be integrated into the existing healthcare system, in order to improve proximity of the services to the community and ensure that it remains functional during the outbreak.

Background of the epidemic

Retrospective investigations point to a possible start of the outbreak back in May 2018 – around the same time as the Equateur outbreak earlier in the year. There is no connection or link between the two outbreaks.

The delay in the alert and subsequent response can be attributed to several factors, including a breakdown of the surveillance system due to the security context (there are limitations on movement, and access is difficult), and a strike by the health workers of the area which began in May, due to non-payment of salaries.

A person died at home after presenting symptoms of haemorrhagic fever. Family members of that person developed the same symptoms and also died. A joint Ministry of Health/World Health Organization (WHO) investigation on site found six more suspect cases, of which four tested positive. This result led to the declaration of the outbreak.

The national laboratory (INRB) confirmed on 7 August 2018 that the current outbreak is of the Zaire Ebola virus, the most deadly strain and the same one that affected West Africa during the 2014-2016 outbreak. Zaire Ebola was also the virus found in the outbreak in Equateur province, in western DRC earlier in 2018, although a different strain than the one affecting the current outbreak.

First declared in Mangina, a small town of 40,000 people in northern North Kivu province, the epicentre of the outbreak appeared to progressively move towards the south, first to the larger city of Beni, with approximately 400,000 people and the administrative centre of the region. As population movements are very common, the epidemic continued south to the bigger city of Butembo, a trading hub. Nearby Katwa became a new hotspot near the end of 2018 and cases had been found further south, in the Kanya area. Meanwhile, sporadic cases also appeared in the neighbouring Ituri province to the north.

Overall, the geographic spread of the epidemic appears to be unpredictable, with scattered small clusters potentially occurring anywhere in the region. This pattern, along with the lack of visibility on the epidemiological situation, and now cases appearing in Goma and in South Kivu province, is both extremely worrying and makes ending the outbreak even more challenging.

Brexit – Swinson: Corbyn is a Brexiteer at heart (23.09.2019)

Zimbabwe: Public Service Commission – Delays in September 2019 Pensions Payout (23.09.2019)

RDC: Hon. Iracan Unen Gratien De Saint-Nicolas – Communique de Presse (23.09.2019)

Ethiopia: If the EPRDF becomes the EPP, then Abiy has consolidated all power, right?

This is a change of guards. Some says its just the name, as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) consists of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Which has all various roles with the government, ministries and so-on.

The rumour of a single party made out of the coalition came earlier this year, in about April 2019. As the TPLF came out with a statement in April questioning the whole idea. That was surely showing signs of disaffection to the idea itself. When the party who has controlled the coalition certainly didn’t like to be muffled with.

Now the Addis Maleda had the scoop that the EPRDF was planning to become a one-party renamed Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP). This means the former parties will be dissolved and become one united force, not just an coalition of parties representing the various ethnic groups and regions of the Republic.

The central leaders, the Council of Ministers, together with the main bodies of governing should vote this through. They should also let all the parties itself, as they let them change names in the recent past. Also get to vote and put together a new party constitution and guidelines they all are agreeing upon. Unless, this is a top-down approach, where the current leadership are planing to take total control and not let any interference come from each party. As this is seen as blessing for the Republic, that the coalition becomes officially one.

The EPP will continue the path of Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali. Where he consolidate power, structures things the way he see fit and uses the systems bound around him. Just like he could appoint and get the people around him. That he wanted in Amhara region, as the state had an “coup”, which was brutally shut-down and now his gotten all of his men in position.

If an EPP gets into existence, the one-party might look the same, but the functions made swiftly change. The power-dynamics of the previous parties are all gone and sort-of-sharing between the regions are dwindling even more. This could cause more tension, in a nation where there are already to many internally displaced people, where there insurgency and extra-judicial killings. Surely, the Ethiopian politics could be a break for that, instead of being the catalyst.

What we have to hope, is that the EPP is a build-up to a real election and the opening of the previous sanctioned groups from diaspora. Can show that the regional parties and rebels has a place in the new elections. Not just the friends of the government in the EPRDF.

If not, than the EPP is a ONE-PARTY state and a sign of open oppression. Where the state has only one head, one party and only one set of governance. Where the people are supposed to follow and listen to the central state, but not question it. This is not reforming, but consolidating power.

Your blind or not seeing it. Not that the EPRDF is a democratic institution or total open transparent body, but it at least has some promise for all the regions and its citizens. While one-party could easily transform to another monster, where the winner takes it all and the rest has to suffer.

That while a man with swagger and promise, shed his opportunity only to regain more power himself. This is the worst-case scenario, I hope I am wrong, but this is just my thinking. Peace.

Burundi: La Communauté des Etudiants Congolais de l’Université Espoir d’Afrique du Burundi (CECUEAB) – Avis Aux Etudiants (21.09.2019)

RDC: Collectif des etudiants congolais au Burundi (CECOB) – Communique (22.09.2019)

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