Congo’s Health Minister Oly Ilunga resigned from his post Monday to protest the president’s decision to take over management of the response to the Ebola outbreak.
“Following the president’s decision to manage the Ebola epidemic at his level, I handed in my resignation as Minister for Health,” Ilunga wrote in a tweet. Ilunga, who had been health minister for two years, said his resignation was in reaction to the announcement Saturday by President Felix Tshisekedi that he would take over direct supervision of the response to the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo, which has lasted for nearly a year and has killed more than 1,600 people. Tshisekedi also appointed Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe as coordinator of the nation’s Ebola technical committee.
In his resignation Ilunga deplored the lack of cooperation between him, the president and the prime minister on response to the ebola outbreak. “I regret that this technical secretariat of the multi-sectoral Ebola response committee was set up by an order from the Prime Minister, backdated and countersigned without my knowledge,” he wrote.