Published: February 1st 2011February 1st 2011
The Virunga's mountain gorillas
A second deadly attack in less than a week by FDLR Rwandan militia in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic has left one ranger dead and one seriously injured. Both the driver who is in hospital and Ranger Muhindo Mburungani (who was killed instantly) were part of a civilian protection unit positioned along the road. The attack too place about 180 km north of the city of Goma and west of Lake Edward. Their attackers have not yet been apprehended. .
According to officials in the area, it is believed that an influx of about 700 FDLR militia may be positioned in the area. The militia group is an illegal movement believed to include the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
The parks of the eastern DRC are home to half the world mountain gorillas, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephant and rhino's. This area has been affected by 12 years of civil war and today is protected by around 1,100 Park Rangers who remain active in protecting these parks, four of which have been classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Poaching, wildlife trafficking and habitat destruction remain key threats to the survival of the wildlife in these parks.
Very worrying times ahead for both the DRC as well as Rwanda. the 1994 genocide left close to 800,000 dead in a matter of three months.
Any efforts to help, please contact Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park: firstname.lastname@example.org