Crime & Investigation

Virunga Park Chief Warden Shot in Ambush


viagra 100mg geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>According to the game reserve’s publicist, Joanna Natasegara, the warden was shot in an ambush on the road from Goma to Rumangabo on Wednesday night.

“He is in serious but stable condition. No further details are available on the attack at the present time,” said Natasegara.

Efforts by Chimpreports to obtain the latest updates on the health of Merode were futile as the game reserve’s publicity team were yet to respond to our emails.

In January, Virunga National Park’s ranger, Mbera Bagabo, was shot and killed and two others seriously wounded when their foot patrol was ambushed by Rwandan FDLR militia.

Three FDLR fighters were also killed and one apprehended in the subsequent fighting.

The rangers were being deployed in the area to secure a major road running alongside the park for the public and to protect Virunga from illegal forest destruction in an area that contains Congo’s only population of critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Natasegara did not identify any suspects in the latest shooting.

The FDLR who operate from the area are an illegal movement believed to still include perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

The January attack took place about 10 km north of the city of Goma in the area affected by violent battles between government forces and M23 rebels in October last year.

The area is sought after by militias for its lucrative illegal charcoal trade with the city of Goma, known to be a major source of revenue for illegal armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Recent studies by national park staff have shown the illegal trade to be worth over US$ 35 million a year, much of which provides funding for illegal armed groups. Rangers are currently working to secure the area.


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