WHO: ‘Most people at risk of Ebola virus vaccinated’
ALMOST all those at risk of the Ebola virus in Mbandaka, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been vaccinated, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. More than 400 people have been vaccinated, which represents 90 per cent of those considered to be at risk. A WHO Deputy Director-General, Peter Salama, said: “We have reason to be cautiously optimistic.” Twenty-five people have died so far in the outbreak, which has raised fears of an epidemic (News, 25 May).
South Sudan opposition groups pull out of peace talks
TALKS held in Adis Ababa to end the South Sudanese civil war collapsed without reaching a deal last week. They were partly mediated by the Archbishop of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama, who was installed last month (News, 27 April). They led to an agreement on the cessation of hostilities, but failed when opposition parties rejected a compromise plan proposed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Four years of conflict have depleted food stocks in South Sudan and prevented communities’ preparing for shocks. Oxfam called this week for urgent action to prevent a famine, and launched an appeal.
Women abused by Nigerian military, Amnesty reports
THOUSANDS of women and girls who survived the depradations of Boko Haram have been further abused by the Nigerian military, Amnesty International has said. The charity’s report, They Betrayed Us, published last week, says that women were raped by security forces in exchange for food in refugee camps. The Nigerian military and Civilian Joint Task Force “carried out systematic patterns of violence and abuse against the population who fled Boko Haram’s rule, including war crimes and possible crimes against humanity”, it says; and thousands of refugees have died of starvation in camps in north-eastern Nigeria during the insurgency.