Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Five park rangers killed in DRC in tragic weekend for wildlife defenders | Environment | The Guardian

Five park rangers killed in DRC in tragic weekend for wildlife defenders | Environment | The Guardian An ambush by local rebel forces led to five deaths in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, while another ranger died in Virunga.


Four Congolese park rangers and one porter have been killed in an ambush in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. A large group of journalists and park rangers were attacked on Friday 14 July in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve by an armed local rebel group. It is believed that the journalists – one from the US, two Dutch, and one Congolese – were covering a story about the work of the rangers in the forest.
The attack is thought to have been by Mai Mai rebels from the area who have been carrying out illegal poaching and mining activities. They have previously come into conflict with rangers.


Following the attack, three rangers and the US national were reported missing, while the rest of the group, including 11 rangers, escaped to another Okapi reserve base.
The bodies of four Congolese rangers from the state park authority, the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), and one porter were found the following day, on the evening of Saturday 15 July. They were killed during an ambush while escorting the journalists back from a visit to the Bapela gold mining site, Unesco confirmed.

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