World Health: Cases of “monkeypox” In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it poses a global threat World Health: Cases of “monkeypox” In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it poses a global threat

World Health: Cases of “monkeypox” In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it poses a global threat

World Health: Cases of “monkeypox” In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it poses a global threat

The World Health Organization has warned of a widespread outbreak of “monkeypox” (IMBOX) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United Nations organization in Geneva also announced on Friday that more than 13,000 suspected cases and more than 600 deaths related to the disease had occurred. In Congo between January and November 2023.

WHO expert Rosamund Lewis said that the outbreak of the disease poses a danger to citizens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, neighboring countries and around the world.

The World Health Organization is working with the authorities in Congo to expand testing capacity and bring the vaccine to the country.

According to Lewis, the increasing spread of the disease is linked to sex.

Lewis warned that there were still risks associated with gatherings of people, and pointed as an example to a patient who returned to Europe with monkeypox after a cruise in Asia for gay men in November and reported multiple cases on board the ship.

Because there are many border crossings between Congo and neighboring countries, the World Health Organization is concerned about the spread of the viral disease in the region.

The World Health Organization is also concerned because it has been discovered for the first time that the monkeypox virus strain circulating in the Congo is transmitted through sex.

Gabon's suspension maintained by Central African states

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) announced on Friday that it was maintaining the suspension of Gabon, a sanction imposed following the overthrow of President Ali Bongo Ondimba by the military last August.

ECCAS, which recognized the "peaceful and inclusive character" of the Gabonese transition, "has decided to maintain the decision to suspend Gabon's participation in the activities of the Community until the return to constitutional order", she said in a press release. from a summit in Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea.

Were represented at the summit: Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Chad, Cameroon and Rwanda. The ECCAS also includes, in addition to Gabon currently suspended, the DRC.

The lifting of this sanction would have represented a first step towards reintegration on the international scene, almost four months after the coup led to the condemnation of Western capitals and the suspension of Gabon from the African Union .

Popular among the vast majority of Gabonese people for having put an end to 55 years of the "Bongo dynasty", the leader of the putschists of last August 30, General Brice Oligui Nguema, was proclaimed transitional president by the government. army.

He then immediately promised to return power to civilians at the end of a transition. If the timetable is respected, it will last two years and elections will take place in August 2025.

General Oligui has, since the first days of his assumption of power, met all the leaders of the ECCAS member countries, with the exception of the Angolan president, João Lourenço.

Some leaders of Central Africa, a region which has the longest-serving heads of state in the world, do not necessarily look favorably on a rapid rehabilitation of a country where the head of the Praetorian Guard, supposed to be the guarantee of their continued power, overthrew one of their peers.

The Equatorial Guinean Teodoro Obiang holds the absolute record outside monarchies with 44 years, the Cameroonian Paul Biya is close behind him with more than 41 years, followed by the Congolese Denis Sassou Nguesso with 26 years and the Rwandan Paul Kagame with 23 years in power . In Chad, the young general Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno succeeded his father who had presided over the country for more than 30 years three years ago.

- "Irresponsible governance"-

On the night of August 30, when he had just been proclaimed winner of the presidential election, Ali Bongo Ondimba was overthrown by almost all of the assembled general officers of the army and police. around General Brice Oligui Nguema.

All political parties, including that of Mr. Bongo, as well as the vast majority of civil society organizations, immediately rallied to the power of General Nguema and praised not a "coup d'état" but a "coup of liberation", according to the term dear to the putschists.

Mr. Bongo was elected 14 years ago, after the death in 2009 of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled this small oil-rich Central African country for more than 41 years.

To remove Ali Bongo, the putschist soldiers cited grossly rigged elections, "irresponsible governance" and a power corrupted by the family entourage and close collaborators of the head of state.

The latter, assure the putschists, no longer really led the country and was "manipulated", since a stroke in 2018, in particular by his wife and one of his sons.

The Franco-Gabonese wife of the deposed president Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, as well as their son Noureddin Bongo Valentin, were arrested and charged, like other relatives and former members of the Bongo spouses' cabinets, in particular with various counts of corruption and misappropriation of public funds, as well as forgery of the signature of the head of state.

Ali Bongo, after being briefly placed under house arrest at the time of the putsch, is "free to move around" and free to go abroad, the military announced a few days later. But recently, members of his family accused General Oligui of preventing him from going out or receiving visits from his relatives.

Chad: what is at stake for a controversial referendum?

Chadian voters go to the polls on December 17 for a referendum on a new constitution, a key step towards elections and a return to civilian rule.

The vote is also seen as an important test for the Idris Deby family, which has ruled the oil-producing state for three decades. 

"The first question is that of the participation rate, the second is that of the very credibility of the referendum, because from start to finish, it was the Ministry of Administration which managed the process, and in the provinces, it is the governors, in the departments, it is the prefects, so it is the government which carried it alone, whereas in principle, it should be neutral,” explains political scientist Evariste Ngarlem Tolde. 

Part of the opposition and civil society in this central African country are calling for a boycott. She believes that the proposed constitution is not very different from the previous one, which concentrated significant powers in the hands of the head of state. For Evariste Ngarlem Tolde,

"There will be challenges to overcome. Because alongside those who called to vote 'no', [there are] those who are for the boycott and all that, people want to have citizen control over the elections.

General Mahamat Idriss Deby, 37 years old and in power since 2021, declared that he would run in the 2024 presidential election.
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