Rwanda closes border with DRC over deadly Ebola outbreak
Rwanda has closed its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a deadly Ebola outbreak that started a year ago has killed more than 1,803 people.
The closure came after a second death linked to the Ebola virus was confirmed on Wednesday in the densely populated Congolese city of Goma, which is on the porous border with Rwanda.
The World Health Organization, which declared the DRC outbreak a global health emergency last month, has recommended against travel or trade restrictions. It has also said the risk of regional spread was “very high”.
The DRC presidency’s office said it regretted what it described as a unilateral decision by the Rwandan authorities to restrict movement at the border, “which runs counter to the advice of the World Health Organization”.
“On the basis of a unilateral decision by the Rwandan authorities, Rwandan citizens cannot go to Goma and Congolese cannot leave Gisenyi but are prevented from going home,” the statement said.
“This decision harms a number of Congolese and expatriates who live in Gisenyi but work in Goma.”
It added: “The Congolese authorities regret this kind of decision, which goes against the recommendation of the World Health Organization.
“Response teams are continuing to ensure that the city of Goma is out of danger,” it promised.
An AFP reporter at the Goma-Gisenyi crossing confirmed the frontier had been closed. There was no immediate announcement or reaction from Rwanda.