Statement from Virunga National Park on the Recent Attacks

It is with extreme sadness that Virunga National Park confirms the deaths of 3 Park Rangers following two separate violent attacks by armed members of Mai Mai militias.

Rangers KAKULE NZONDA Djiku, aged 34 years old, and NGERAGEZE KAMZUNGU Daniel, aged 30 years old, succumbed to their wounds following an attack on 28th May 2023. The assault took place in Nyamusengera, close to the village of Rwindi in Rutshuru territory. Both Rangers leave behind a widow and children.

Ranger Paluku Kiyana passed away on the night of 31st May/1st June as a result of injuries sustained during the violent attack that took place on a Virunga National Park convoy in Lubero territory on 18th May 2023. That attack had already caused the tragic deaths of the following individuals:

Ranger Paluku Mahamba Ovide, aged 64 years old;
Ranger Musubao Mubulya Justin aged 49 years old;
Ranger Muhindo Kasay Nickson, aged 22 years old;
Mr. Kambale Mbafumoya Jonas, an employee of TGB, a partner of Virunga Energies.

These unprovoked attacks on members of Virunga National Park’s Rangers and civilian employees have resulted in the deaths of 7 individuals over a period of just 10 days. Virunga National Park’s Rangers and partner civilian employees have made the ultimate sacrifice to support Virunga National Park’s and ICCN’s mission to protect and preserve the integrity of the Park and deliver a safer and more prosperous future for local communities and the wider region. The deliberate targeting of these individuals must not be allowed to
continue and those that commit these acts must be brought to justice for their crimes.

With a heavy heart, Virunga National Park once again pays tribute to the fallen Rangers and sends its most heartfelt condolences to their families, friends, colleagues, and all those affected by their deaths.

For more information, please contact

(From left to right: Ranger Paluku Kiyana, Ranger Djiku, Ranger Daniel)

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