This brief summarises key considerations concerning cross-border dynamics between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the context of the outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. It is the second in a series of four briefs focusing on the at risk border areas between DRC and the four high priority neighbouring countries (including Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi). As of April 2019, there had been no case of Ebola imported from the DRC into Rwanda, although alerts had been triggered on the roads leading from North Kivu towards neighbouring Rwanda and at least one high-risk contact was described as being a Rwandan national. Cross-border movement has been identified as a significant risk to transmission.
This brief provides details about cross-border relations, the political and economic dynamics likely to influence these, and specific areas and actors most at risk. The brief is based on a rapid review of existing published and grey literature, previous ethnographic research in Rwanda and DRC, and informal discussions with colleagues from the Rwanda Ministry of Health, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, DFID, IOM, USAID, CDC and others. The brief was developed by Hugh Lamarque (The University of Edinburgh’s Social and Political Science Department – Centre for African Studies) with support from Ingrid Gercama, Emelie Yonally and Juliet Bedford (Anthrologica). Additional review and inputs were provided by Patricia Stys (London School of Economics), Jean-Benoît Falisse (University of Edinburgh), Benjamin Chemouni (University of Cambridge), David Peyton (Northwestern University), Papy Muzuri (London School of Economics) and colleagues from DFID (Rwanda Country Office) and UNICEF (Rwanda Country Office and East and Southern Africa Regional Office). The brief is the responsibility of the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP).