By JEAN-YVES KAMALE, Associated Press
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) – A conservation park ranger was killed in an attack by gunmen this weekend in Virunga National Park in eastern Congo, the Congolese Institute said Sunday. for nature conservation.
Chief Brigadier Etienne Mutazimiza Kanyaruchinya, 48, was killed on Saturday evening when 100 heavily armed men, believed to be former members of the M23 rebel group, attacked a patrol post near the village of Bukima in Congo’s North Province -Kivu. The rest of the rangers escaped unharmed, the statement said.
The institute said it was the second attack in two weeks by the same group, which operates along the Rwandan and Ugandan borders and is trying to establish bases in the park. The previous attack had been repelled by the Congolese army but several soldiers had been killed.
Virunga Park is home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas, but armed groups such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known by its French acronym FDLR, Mai-Mai and M23 regularly fight over control of resources natural in eastern Congo. .
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Earlier this year, gunmen killed six rangers. In addition to Kanyaruchinya, 22 rangers have been killed by armed groups in the park since last year, park spokesman Olivier Mukisya told The Associated Press.
Kanyaruchinya had worked with the institute for over 25 years and leaves behind a wife and four children. The conservation institute said it will “spare no effort” to seek justice for him.
Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro contributed from Beni, Congo.
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