The Mayi-Mayi militia attack that resulted in the death of six rangers in Virunga National Park is not an isolated incident.
At least six park rangers in famed Democratic Republic of Congo Virunga National Park were ambushed and killed by members of the Mai-Mai militia January 10. “The attack took place at 7:30 am … A group of armed men attacked the park wardens, killing six and seriously injuring one,” according to a statement from park spokesperson Olivier Mukisya.
The Virunga are known to house a large number of mountain gorillas and is the oldest and one of the largest nature reserves in Africa. Founded in 1925, it covers approximately 5,000 square kilometers and is home to about a quarter of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population. Over a thousand different species of animals are found in this protected area.
Attack of the Virunga rangers
According to local authorities, the rangers were attacked by a large number of Mai-Mai militiamen in a place called Nyamitwtwi, located at the end of the game park in the territory of Rutshuru, North Kivu Province.
“The army authorities reacted immediately after obtaining information about the murder and deployed soldiers hunt the killers”Said Lieutenant Peter Mboke, a security guard in North Kivu.
Mai-Mai militias have attacked villages in the DRC for more than a decade and have killed innocent people. They occasionally attack the park and kill the rangers.
The management of Virunga National Park said in a statement that it deeply regrets the tragic loss of life among its rangers. He promises to work with security organizations to perpetrate those responsible.
(Our rangers) work tirelessly and with dedication to protect the park and surrounding communities from the tyranny of armed groups. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten or in vain.
Virunga National Park remains committed to implementing development initiatives that benefit local people and the region as a whole, and to working in partnership with local communities to bring peace and prosperity to millions of people. whose lives have been wasted for too long by conflict and the activities of armed groups.
More than 200 rangers were killed by armed groups over the past 12 years. Before the last episode, 17 people including 12 rangers lost their lives in an attack in April 2020, the the most violent in the history of the park.