Cape Town– A Virunga National forest ranger has actually been shot and gotten rid of as Rwandan militia seek to gain control of the region which supports Congo’s only populace of mountain gorillas.
The Ecologist records that the ranger, Mbera Bagabo, was shot and killed after their foot patrol was ambushed by Rwandan FDLR militias in the Virunga National Park.
2 other rangers were seriously wounded and 3 militiamen were eliminated in subsequent fighting.
The area is the home of Congo’s only populace of jeopardized mountain gorillas and the rangers were deployed to protect a significant road which runs along the park in addition to protect the park from unlawful forest damage.
The unlawful charcoal trade, worth over $35m a year, is a major income source for illegal armed groups.
The Virunga National forest is shielded by over 400 park rangers who operate in a region impacted by 18 years of civil war and political instability.
Over 200 rangers have actually been eliminated throughout 5 DRC parks in the last 10 years.
According to the IUCN the Virunga mountain gorilla populace was estimated at 380 in 2003 and has been classified as endangered.