After another ranger killed, Virunga National Park requests UN peacekeepers

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
February 01, 2011



Less than a week after 3 wildlife rangers and 5 soldiers were killed in Virunga National Park by the rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), another ranger has been killed and a driver put in the hospital in critical condition. The situation has pushed park authorities to request UN peacekeepers for the park.

FDLR ambushed a civilian protection unit, killing ranger, Muhindo Mburungani, with two bullets in the chest. Bullets also struck a driver in the head, stomach, and arm; he is currently in critical condition.

"We believe there may be a massive influx of about 700 FDLR militias in the area. We are holding crisis meeting with the senior military command this morning. We have been appealing to the UN peace keeping force, MONUSCO, for support," writes park director Emmanuel de Merode on the park's blog.

Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Virunga National Park is home to a quarter of the world's mountain gorillas, as well as chimpanzees, hippos, lions, forest elephants, and rare birds. The park is one of Africa's most biodiverse parks and is classified by the UN as a World Heritage Site. However the park is also no stranger to conflict. In the past 15 years, the park has lost over 130 wildlife rangers to clashes with rebels and government soldiers using the park as a staging ground.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (February 01, 2011).

After another ranger killed, Virunga National Park requests UN peacekeepers .

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0201-hance_virunga.html