Virunga National Park says ranger killed in militia attack.
Virunga National Park says ranger killed in militia attack.

Virunga National Park says ranger killed in militia attack

By Associated Press Time of article published Nov 30, 2018

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DAKAR, Senegal — A wildlife park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that is home to critically endangered mountain gorillas says a park ranger has been killed after an attack by armed militia at a ranger post on Lake Edward.

Virunga National Park said the situation has been stabilized and an investigation into Wednesday morning’s attack has been opened. It said Kasereka Masumbuko Ezechiel has worked at the park since 2012, expressing gratitude for his service and sending condolences to his family.

More than 175 rangers have been killed defending Virunga over the past 20 years.

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Terrible news! Five @virunganationalpark rangers and their driver were killed in an attack in the central sector of the park occurred on 9 April. “I condemn this deadly attack on the guards of the Virunga National Park and their driver. I call on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take all the necessary legal measures to put an end to these repetitive attacks,” said UNESCO Director-General @audrey.azoulay This is the third attack this year against the staff of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation in the Virunga Park, and follows similar acts on other World Heritage sites in Central Africa, in Dja and Sangha Tri-National. Since 1996, attacks in the Virunga National Park have claimed over 175 victims. The Director-General calls on the international community to help the Institute ensure the safety of local people and staff. With the support of the European Union, UNESCO has been investing for several years in strengthening human capacity and resources of World Heritage Sites in the countries of central Africa that are facing security challenges. The Director-General and the UNESCO family pay tribute to the courage of the guards who risk their lives to ensure the protection of this heritage. Virunga National Park has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1979 because of its exceptional biodiversity, including endemic and rare species, such as the mountain gorilla. The site has also been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 1994 because of the impact of conflict in the Great Lakes region. Visit @virunganationalpark to show your support. 📷 © 2015 Virunga National Park #VirungaNationalPark #Virunga #Rangers #Wildlife #Congo #WorldHeritage #Africa #Nature #UNESCO #WithNature #NaturalHeritage #NatureProtection

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The wildlife park was forced to halt tourism in May after a ranger was killed and two British tourists were abducted. The two were later released.

Numerous armed groups operate in eastern Congo, a resource-rich area that has long been in conflict.

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