The arrest of three Congolese medics have been confirmed by a military prosecutor over the murder of a World Health Organization (WHO) doctor who was fighting an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo.
The doctor identifed as Cameroonian doctor Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung was shot dead on April 19 in an attack on a hospital in the eastern city of Butembo.
The arrested doctors will be prosecuted for “terrorism” and “criminal conspiracy,” Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Baptiste Kumbu Ngoma, military prosecutor for Butembo in North Kivu province, told AFP.
The three are accused of holding meetings on April 14 to plot the assassination of Mouzoko, he added.
The WHO said Mouzoko had been deployed as part of a medical team to help rein in the Ebola outbreak which started last August in North Kivu.
The prosecutor said the doctors were “among the moral authors” of the attack on Mouzoko. He said one more doctor was being sought in the case.
In a letter to the mayor of Butembo, the local doctors’ association expressed indignation at the arrests and said they would go on strike if their colleagues were not released within 48 hours.
But the military prosecutor dismissed their demands as “out of the question”.
“It’s a delicate situation. As a man has died, we absolutely have to know the truth about what happened,” the coordinator of the fight against Ebola in DR Congo, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, told AFP.
More than 1,800 people have died from the virus in the past year.