Virunga National Park have announced 6 of their Park Rangers were killed in an attack on the morning of Sunday 10th January 2021. Another ranger was seriously wounded and has been taken to hospital in Goma for treatment.
The rangers were ambushed near Kabuendo, near the border of the park. It is believed the rangers were taken by surprise and had no opportunity to defend themselves. The attack has been blamed on local Mai-Mai groups, one of many militia groups operating in the region.
More than 200 rangers have lost their lives in the conservation war within Virunga National Park. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and is home to over half the world’s population of mountain gorillas. It is also the largest tropical rainforest reserve in Africa and has an incredible vast and varied landscape of volcanoes, mountains, forests, savannahs and lakes.
The Rangers who lost their lives in the attack:
BURHANI ABDOU Surumwe, aged 30 years
KAMATE MUNDUNAENDA Alexis, aged 25 years
MANENO KATAGHALIRWA Reagan, aged 27 years
KIBANJA BASHEKERE Eric, aged 28 years
PALUKU BUDOYI Innocent, aged 28 years
NZABONIMPA NTAMAKIRIRO Prince, aged 27 years
These young rangers tragically lost their lives protecting the national park. Rest in power.
For anyone who wants to offer help, Virunga has a range of funds including a Fallen Rangers Fund for Widows. This aims to financially support widows and families while also providing them with opportunities for personal development and work-based training.
You can read the full statement from Viruna on the 10/01/2021 attack here: https://virunga.org/news/recent-attack-2021/