Rangers Killed in Mai Mai Attack on Virunga’s Central Sector

Virunga National Park is deeply saddened to confirm the deaths of two rangers during attacks on the park’s Central Sector on March 12th and 13th. A third ranger is missing in action.

Four ranger positions on the shores of Lake Edward were attacked by Mai-Mai militia. The coordinated attacks were carried out by over 120 rebels, beginning in the early hours of Saturday morning. The number represents an unprecedented cooperation amongst Mai Mai rebels to kill Virunga’s rangers. Both rangers were captured by the rebels before being summarily executed.

The park’s positions were recovered by Virunga’s rangers in a joint counter offensive with the Congolese National Army. During this process, one Mai Mai rebel was killed and one arrested. The bodies of both the fallen rangers were recovered and returned to their families. The search continues for the third ranger.

After flying to the scene of the attacks, Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park, said:

“Our rangers continue to bear the brunt of the instability in eastern Congo. They stand fearlessly on the frontline of the protection of civilians and their resources knowing that they are at risk of extreme violence. The situation is deplorable and we must honour their sacrifice by attempting to reduce this threat of violence. These rangers were killed in situations that may amount to war crimes in any other conflict.” 

We call on all stakeholders to assist us in this matter by supporting Virunga and its rangers in their continued efforts. Our thoughts are with the families of these rangers at this time. 

These deaths break the unfathomable barrier of 150 rangers lost in a decade here in Virunga, over ten of those in the last year alone. Despite the wide progress we make here in many areas, we cannot sustain these kind of losses in what is still the most dangerous conservation job in the world.”

(S’il vous plaît, cliquez ici pour la version Français)

17 Comments

  1. stefanie reska March 14, 2016 Reply

    So very sorry. These men fight such a brave fight. I am so very sorry they have to go through these horrors.

  2. ian March 14, 2016 Reply

    Fallen heroes. My thoughts are with you and your families.

  3. Pepe March 15, 2016 Reply

    May these rangers R.I.P.

  4. Rita March 15, 2016 Reply

    Pole saana!

  5. Pamela March 15, 2016 Reply

    My deepest condolences on the death of your rangers.

  6. Thomas April 1, 2016 Reply

    My deepest condolences to the young fallen rangers, human heroes. The situation is dire, once again. Emmanuel and all of the rangers, stay strong.

  7. Jon April 15, 2016 Reply

    So sorry to hear that. My thoughts are with the fallen heroes and their families.
    I just watched the movie about all of you brave rangers.
    I hope you can keep up the hope that you will sustain these loses and keep fighting for the park and everything in it. Thank you for your dedication!

  8. Angel Mateo April 22, 2016 Reply

    Mi mas sinceras condolencias para todos los Rangers del parque de Viruga y sus familias.

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