The fighting between separatists and government troops in the northeast corner of Congo left at least 14 civilians and four soldiers on September 22nd.
Unfortunately, the violence has also opened up new avenues for the spread of the latest cluster of Ebola virus infections, according to the latest update by the World Health Organization on the health situation in the controversial African country.
It is nothing less than a "critical moment" for the nation, according to the WHO.
"There have been a number of incidents in recent days, particularly in Beni, which have led to the loss of lives among local communities," said the international agency. "The WHO response to the response is severely limited because Beni and other cities accuse a period of mourning for those who have died, and security in Beni and other areas remains a challenge."
Nine new confirmed cases were reported in the last update, bringing the total to 151 for the latest cluster. They resulted in 101 deaths, authorities said.
But the spread was limited, especially in comparison with last year's outbreaks. Part of the inclusion success was a major vaccination effort. More than 12,000 people have been vaccinated voluntarily, under approximately "rings" of vaccination around the geographic hotspots of the virus, according to the WHO.
Six million travelers in the region have been screened for infection and 17,000 travel agents have also been disinfected as a precautionary measure.
But the humanitarian crisis – especially on the border with Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan – has given the virus new opportunities to fly with the refugee populations, the WHO added.
"Since the risk of national and regional dissemination is very high, it is important that neighboring provinces and countries improve the activities in the field of monitoring and preparedness", according to the organization.
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced the end of the ninth outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus at a press conference in Kinshasa on Tuesday 24 July.
The leaders praised the tireless efforts of the international community to prevent an outbreak affecting four different locations on the western side of the country.
But later that same week, a cluster of the virus was reported in the province of North Kivu – 2,500 kilometers to the east, health officials said.