British nationals held in DR Congo freed

14 May, 2018, 06:00 | Author: Bert Pena
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Five Virunga rangers and a staff driver were killed just last month during an ambush in the central sector of the park.

Rebel groups and militias control large swathes of the country's east and more than 175 rangers have died protecting Virunga National Park, which is adjacent to neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, since it was founded in 1925.

'My thoughts are now with the family of Virunga Park ranger Rachel Makissa Baraka who was killed during the kidnapping, and with the injured driver and the released British nationals as they recover from this traumatic incident'.

Boris Johnson did not supply any additional particulars within the assertion launched Sunday, however paid tribute to the authorities from the African nation and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation "for his or her tireless assist throughout this awful case".

In peacetime, the Virunga National Park has barely fended off the local warlords and gangsters seeking to strip it off its valuable timber or the government officials and vested corporate interests seeking to exploit its oil.

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A female wildlife ranger accompanying the pair was killed. She was identified as 25-year-old Rachel Katumwa on Saturday.

He said: "We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident".

The park declined to say how the two Britons came to be released and if the kidnappers had been detained.

The two freed British hostages said they were "very grateful for the excellent support" they had received.

It is a Unesco world heritage site and home to critically-endangered mountain gorillas, as well as lions, elephants and hippos.

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