Congo doctors arrested for murder of WHO medic

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Three Congolese doctors have been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the killing of a World Health Organisation (WHO) medic, BBC News reports a military prosecutor has said. Cameroonian doctor Richard Mouzoko was shot dead in April at a hospital in Butembo, where he was treating Ebola patients. The motive for the attack is unclear.

More than 1,800 people have died from the Ebola virus in the past year. Efforts to contain the spread have been hindered by militia group violence and by suspicion towards foreign medical assistance.

According to the report, senior military prosecutor Lt Col Jean-Baptiste Kumbu said that militiamen involved in attacking treatment centres, including Butembo Hospital, had under interrogation implicated four doctors in planning the raids. He said the three Congolese doctors will be prosecuted for “terrorism” and “criminal conspiracy”, while the fourth doctor was still at large.

The report says Mouzoko was one of a number of medics deployed by the WHO to help fight the spread of the virus in DRC.

A group representing local doctors are quoted as  saying it was “indignant” over the arrests, adding that their absence would cripple vital medical services in the area such as blood transfusions and disease prevention. The group has threatened to strike within 48 hours unless the three detained doctors are released. But the military prosecutor dismissed their demands as “out of the question”.

BBC News report

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