Uganda announces lockdown as Ebola cases rise; 2 in UN peacekeepers ‘face quarantine’
Uganda has declared a state of emergency after 2 new cases of Ebola were discovered in the country, in apparent retaliation for a peacekeepers’ quarantine that critics said left them vulnerable to infection.
In a press statement, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni described the incident as an “unprecedented act of terrorism launched in retaliation to the action of peacekeepers in Sierra Leone.”
In a separate statement, the UN on Tuesday called for the immediate suspension of peacekeepers in Gulu, on the borders of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who are being quarantined.
“There is deep concern in the international community that the actions against peacekeepers in the Republic of Congo could be retaliation for their action in Sierra Leone, whose security services had been called in after an outbreak of Ebola,” the United Nations (UN) said.
In addition to the 2 new cases of Ebola, the UN said that a further 20 cases had been identified in South Sudan, and it was tracking the number of cases in several other African countries, including Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Kenya.
“We are concerned by the very large number of cases, the extent of the spread, the scale of the operations being undertaken to curb the outbreak to date,” the UN said.
“We are appealing to all parties to the conflict in DRC and neighbouring countries to help contain the spreading of the outbreak in those countries. We call on them to suspend operations aimed at containing and quelling the outbreak once and for all,” the UN said.
The UN said that its humanitarian staff was “aware of the reported quarantine of peacekeepers in the Republic of Congo. Please note that this is a private matter between the Republic of Congo Government, its staff and Peacekeepers. The United Nations and its agencies, through its international mechanisms, do not engage in negotiations with States regarding the peacekeeping mission.
“Since the beginning of the outbreak,