Clash at DR Congo wildlife reserve leaves ranger dead

clash at dr congo wildlife reserve leaves ranger dead

A ranger at a DR Congo wildlife reserve was killed and a second wounded when their team came under attack near an illegal mine, the park said on Thursday.

The incident happened on Tuesday at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (RFO) in the country’s northeast.

A 26-year-old guard died “following an attack carried out by armed men against a team of eco-rangers who were on a surveillance missions near the ‘Mondial’, an illegal mining area” in the centre of the park, the RFO said in a statement.

Another ranger was wounded and an assailant was captured, it said.

The RFO, located in Ituri province, is a World Heritage site and haven for the okapi, an endangered deer-like animal that is related to the giraffe.

Only 30,000 okapi are left in the wild, of which around 5,000 live in the RFO.

The biggest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo has world famous wildlife reserves.

But those located in its troubled east struggle with illicit mining, deforestation and poaching, abetted by armed groups which plague the region.

In May, five guards and a civilian employee of the Virunga National Park, a biodiversity hotspot and sanctuary for the mountain gorilla, were killed by armed groups.

Authored by Afp via Breitbart June 29th 2023