DR Congo detains former health minister in Ebola probe
London, Sep 14, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A former minister in Democratic Republic of Congo has been arrested over alleged mismanagement of funds for the country’s response to the Ebola epidemic.
Police on Saturday said that Oly Ilunga oversaw Democratic Republic of Congo’s handling of the outbreak, the second deadliest in history, for nearly a year.
Oly Ilunga resigned as health minister in protest at the handling of the Ebola outbreak in the east of the country.
In his resignation letter, Oly Ilunga condemned a decision by President Félix Tshisekedi to replace him as the head of the Ebola response team.
Earlier in September,his lawyers said he had been questioned by police about his role managing the Ebola response but they denied any wrongdoing by Ilunga.
In a statement, the national police said Ilunga was detained because they believed he planned to evade legal proceedings by leaving the country.
“Unfortunately, police received information about his disappearance with a view to reaching Congo-Brazzaville,” the police’s press service said, referring to neighboring Congo Republic.
It said Ilunga was in police custody and would come before a prosecutor on Sept. 16.
Foreign donors have provided more than $150 million in funding to the Ebola response over the past year, but the United Nations has said hundreds of millions of dollars more are needed.
The outbreak has so far killed over 2,000 people and infected 1,000 more. Only the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa, which killed more than 11,300, was deadlier.