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.


US to withdraw troops from Ebola mission in West Africa

11 February 2015, 10:26

Washington - The US military plans to pull out most troops from West Africa that were deployed to help stem the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, ending a five-month mission.

A force that at one point reached 2 800 has been scaled back to about 1 300 troops and "nearly all will return by 30 April," Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

The announcement came as the epidemic has begun to recede.

President Barack Obama will on Wednesday declare a next phase in fighting the disease.

"We have bent the curve of the epidemic and placed it on a much improved trajectory," the White House said.

A small team of about 100 US troops will remain in the region to strengthen "disease preparedness and surveillance capacity" of local governments, Kirby said.

At the height of the Ebola outbreak, President Barack Obama approved plans in September for more than 3 000 troops to head to Liberia and Senegal.

But the full contingent never had to be ordered in as the tide began to turn in the effort to contain the virus.

Also read: World's largest Ebola unit dismantled

The US forces, most of whom were stationed in Liberia, constructed Ebola treatment units, trained health workers, provided logistical support for aid agencies and set up labs to test blood samples, Kirby said.

When an American who travelled to Liberia died from the virus last year, public fears spiked in the United States and Washington officials scrambled to take measures to prevent any possible outbreak.

Although US troops in Liberia and Senegal had no contact with patients, the Pentagon placed all military personnel returning from West Africa in temporary quarantine as a precaution.

Officials so far have not detected the virus in any US soldier that worked in West Africa.

About 9 000 people have died from Ebola since the outbreak began 13 months ago, with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone the hardest hit.

A massive international effort has been underway to rid the three West African nations of the Ebola virus, and a drop in new cases had sparked hopes that the worst was over.

But the weekly number of new Ebola cases registered in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone rose in the last week of January, marking the first increase in 2015, the World Health Organisation said last week.

During the seven days leading up to February 1 124 new cases were confirmed across the three west African countries that have the vast majority of infections.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

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

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What to do after breakup

Your life does not end after breakup. Here are tips to move on: Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Rare gift for President Uhuru Ken...

Young Jubilee supporters have a rare surprise gift for the President. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Illegal milk nabbed in Mombasa wa...

Milk powder is considered a sensitive commodity under the EAC Common External Tariff (CET) and attracts an import duty at a rate of 60 per cent. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Athlete collapses, dies in Machak...

His coach blamed his untimely death on the supplements the athletes are given. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Popular radio presenter found dea...

Grace Makosewe was working for Capital FM before moving to Urban Radio in Kisumu. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Four wards to elect new MCAs in b...

This follows the death of former office holders between April and August this year. Read more...