Royal Family News: Prince William Condemns Killing Of Park Rangers Protecting Endangered Mountain Gorillas
At least six park rangers were killed as they guarded endangered species in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park. The park is the continent’s oldest and a refuge for endangered mountain gorillas.
Prince William is the president of United for Wildlife and according to The Telegraph he said, “The horrendous attack on staff at the Virunga National Park is abhorrent and I condemn the actions of those responsible in the strongest terms.”
Virunga is the largest tropical rainforest reserve, covering 7,800 sq km, and located on forest-covered volcanoes in central Africa. It is home to over half the global population of mountain gorillas.
Royal Family News: Prince William Is A Wildlife Advocate
He went on to say, “Rangers who work tirelessly to protect both the national park and the neighbouring communities should be honoured not attacked. They should never find themselves in a position where their lives are on the line.”
Congolese park rangers raised their guns in salute on Monday as the coffin bearing their colleague, Burhani Abdou Surumwe, was buried in a Muslim cemetery outside Goma.
Abdou Surumwe’s older brother Maliki said his sibling was, “a good advisor, a hard worker, someone who loved to live with people.”
Royal Family News: Prince William Has Condemned Killing Of Park Rangers
The rangers are heavily armed and well-trained, a necessity since they are frequently attacked by armed groups who patrol the region. In April 2020, twelve of their group from the Congo Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) were killed by suspected Hutu militiamen.
Despite the dangers they face protecting wildlife, park director Emmanuel de Merode is not afraid of doing his duty under such life and death circumstances. He himself was shot and injured in 2014 but he is adamant that his remain dedicated to their duty to protect wildlife.
He said, “We are facing a situation that is extremely difficult, but which in no way erodes the conviction of all ICCN staff to continue our efforts.”
Royal Family News: African Park Rangers Face Grave Danger
According to the United Nations over one hundred armed groups circulate in eastern Congo. Many of these bands are what remains of groups that fought in various civil wars around the turn of the century. Those wars resulted in millions of deaths due to the conflict as well as hunger and disease.
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