(Draft Paper) Violence against Ebola Responders in the DR Congo: When Health Security becomes National Security.
While attacks against healthcare affect nearly every country, the disproportionate surge in attacks perpetrated by affected communities during healthcare emergencies is staggering. Why would communities attack the very people who are trying to protect them from a disease?
This article argues that when healthcare emergencies provide governments the opportunity for oppression and thereof unequal political exclusion, the healthcare response becomes politicized and can trigger popular violent resistance against healthcare responders. 
The mixed-method study examines the case of violence against Ebola responders during the Democratic Republic of the Congo's 10th Ebola outbreak from 2018-2020. The first part shows in an interrupted time-series model that a significant increase in attacks against Ebola responders started immediately after the government excluded three regions from voting in the presidential election due to the Ebola outbreak. 
By controlling for violence against civilians as well as the rate of new Ebola infections, the model further shows that the sudden increase in attacks is indeed due to the 
'election event' and not because of generally higher levels of insecurity or more Ebola cases. 
The second part traces the proposed causal mechanism leading to this violent popular backlash and suggests - unlike commonly assumed - that individual distrust was not the main driver of violence against Ebola responders. Negative perceptions against the Ebola response were inherent from the beginning. Rather, I argue that the oppressive healthcare measures politicized the Ebola response and provoked violent popular resistance. The argument may explain surges in attacks against healthcare in other cases where an oppressive government politicizes an healthcare emergency.
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