Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


DRC, Uganda Muslims banned from Mecca

19 October 2012, 09:18

Kinshasa - Saudi Arabia has banned Muslims from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda from making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca this year because of cholera and Ebola epidemics in the region, a Congolese religious leader said on Thursday.

"The Muslims living in DR Congo and even those in Uganda won't participate in the pilgrimage to Mecca this year," the head of DR Congo's Islamic community, Cheik Abdallah Mangala, told AFP.

He said he thought the Saudi government had "made the decision to avoid any contamination from the Ebola and cholera viruses", which have taken a heavy toll on the region in recent months.

Pilgrims have already begun to arrive in Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, the world's largest annual gathering, which peaks around 25 October this year with more than one million Muslims expected.

The DRC has been battling an outbreak of cholera, a contagious intestinal infection, for over a year, and of Ebola, one of the world's most virulent diseases, since mid-August.

According to the World Health Organisation, which has not imposed any travel restrictions on the country, more than 20 000 people in the DRC were infected with cholera in 2012, with a mortality rate of2%.

Leodegar Bazira, the WHO official in the DRC, said the organisation had recorded 74 Ebola cases since August, 36 of them deadly, putting the mortality rate at 50%. But he added that the disease was now under control and confined to the northeastern town of Isiro.

In Uganda, Ebola has killed 17 people since July, but officials announced earlier this month that the disease had been brought under control and urged all countries to lift travel restrictions on Uganda.

To date, there is no treatment nor vaccine for Ebola, a rare haemorrhagic disease that kills between 25% and 90% of patients, depending on the strain of the virus. It is named after a small river in the DRC.

Cholera, which is caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water, can strike swiftly, causing intense diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea that lead to severe dehydration.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...