Two rangers killed in Congo’s Virunga National Park

Two rangers killed in Congo’s Virunga National Park
The two men are said to have been shot near the shore of Lake Edward. (In the symbolic picture: fishing boats in Lake Eduard)

The two men were shot dead on Sunday in Nyamusengera near the shore of Lake Edward and the border with Uganda while on patrol, the park administration said. According to an official in the nearby fishing village of Vitshumbi, the park rangers were ambushed by poachers.

According to this, the poachers had previously killed a hippopotamus and then attacked the park employees, whose tasks include protecting vegetation and wildlife from attackers. In addition to the two fatalities, six other park rangers were injured in the attack, according to local human rights activist Blaise Kalisha. According to the national park administration, the attackers belong to the armed group Mai Mai Kabido.

Established in 1925, Virunga National Park is the oldest national park in Africa. It is famous for its biodiversity and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, but it is repeatedly shaken by violence. As recently as May 18, four park employees were killed 60 kilometers north of the current crime scene.

Several militias have had their bases in the national park for a good two decades. Since November, the southern part has been under the control of the M23 rebel militia, which numerous UN experts believe is supported by Rwanda, which borders on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Source: Nachrichten

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