German foreign minister on Congo requires fighting Ebola fight Germany | News and world reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW

German foreign minister on Congo requires fighting Ebola fight Germany | News and world reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW

After joining the Democratic Republic of Congo (plane) t, The German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas – a precautionary measure among the country's Ebola outbreak – was adopted immediately. In one year, the virus has claimed the lives of 2,000 people in the DRC. Maas met experts who informed him about Ebola's current situation before he meets the country's president., Felix Tshisekedi, in the capital of Kinshasa Thursday, the last day of his four-day trip to Africa.

Prior to his meeting, Maas showed that he has high expectations from the country's decision-makers: "It is a matter for the government and president to ensure that people's expectations are met, that security is improved, and that there is always a firm fight against Ebola."

Heiko Maas walks away from a German plane after landing in Kinshasa, DRC (picture / dpa / K. Nietfeld)

Before traveling to DRC, Maas visited Sudan

Campaign 's most complicated; to tackle Ebola ever

Tshisekedi was voted in office in late 2018, ending almost two decades of rule by Joseph President Kabila. Many people in the DRC are looking forward to their new leader, as Maas learned during his various talks. But President Tshisekedi faces huge challenges: On top of the Ebola outbreak, three quarters of the population live on less than two dollars a day and militias are declining nationwide.

In the city of Goma, Maas met David Gressly, the UN emergency response coordinator. Gressly described the efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak as "the most complex ever," naming the country's political division, spreading the virus in remote parts, and repeated militia attacks as reasons. Even health care facilities were targeted and 250 were attacked since Tshisekedi came to power.

Health workers in the DRC keep wearing containers and protective masks (Getty Images / AFP / P. Tulizo)

Health workers are hindered in their efforts to combat Ebola at the poor infrastructure of the DRC

The DRC President is taking flak

That is why Maas insisted that it is important not only to provide vaccines and provide education about the virus, but also to ensure that health care workers are safe. Maas hopes that Tshisekedi will emerge in the country's competitive militia: "This must be resolved by central government and they are likely to engage in dialogue," he said.

While President Tshisekedi took only eight months ago, civil society activists have already complained that he is not doing enough to help the country's numerous regions. After all, while cities such as Goma or Bukavu, visited by Maas on Wednesday, departing from the Ebola outbreak, rural areas of the DRC become even worse.

Opinion: Opinion: Ebola in Congo – incompetence, lack of confidence and greed

Poor medical infrastructure

On his journey, Maas also spoke to the World Health Organization representative in Goma, Ibrahima Sose. Sose knows the story on the ground and describes how bad the rural infrastructure is. He told the German foreign minister that rarely meets medical treatments professional standards, which is why the Ebola virus continues to spread by spreading. Sometimes, "someone comes in to be treated for malaria and Ebola contract – there are such common situations," Sose said to Maas. According to the WHO, there are 80 new Ebola cases each week.

Maas also wants to expand MONUSCO, a UN mission in the Congo. The task is to stabilize the country's fragile peace – a challenge linked to the fight against Ebola. He met the head of the mission, Leila Zerrougui, who does not want the UN peacekeepers to be withdrawn.

Maas has made it clear that Tshisekedi expects to cooperate more closely with international organizations and that further amendments are implemented. The foreign minister then said, could the DRC expect further assistance. People of the DRC are trying to make improvements, he said.

"There are big challenges, but the people from the president have a lot of confidence," said Maas.

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