6 rangers killed in terror attack on Virunga National Park (DRC) Tony Ofungi, E Turbo News January 11, 2021
The Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced the tragic death of 6 Park rangers which occurred at approximately 7:30 am in the morning hours of Sunday, January, 10, 2021, following an attack perpetrated by an armed group suspected to be Mai Mai militia.
The attack took place near Kabuendo, which is located near the border of the Park, in the Central sector, between Nyamilima and Niamitwitwi. Preliminary investigations indicate that the Rangers were taken by surprise and had no opportunity to defend themselves, and that those responsible for the attack are local Mai-Mai groups.
One of the guards, RUGANYA NYONZIMA Faustin survived with serious injuries and was evacuated to Goma where he is now out of danger.
Located in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the 7,800-square-kilometre (3,000 sq mi) Virunga National Park (Parc National des Virunga) is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s most biodiverse treasures and Africa’s oldest National Park. It’s home to more mammal, bird and reptile species than any other protected areas on the planet – including three extraordinary taxa of Great Apes.
It stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the South, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North, bordering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
Sadly 200 rangers have been killed in the line of duty since 1925 with the last incident in April 2020 when twelve rangers and five civilians, were killed in an ambush near the park. The latest incident underscores the sacrifice that the rangers go through to protect the endangered mountain gorillas from the danger of civil war and rogue militia.
The park is managed by the Congolese National Park Authorities, the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and its partner the Virunga Foundation.
Below are the names of these 6 deceased rangers and their biographies:
BURHANI ABDOU SURUMWE Date of birth: 05/27/1990 (30 years old) Originally from: Nyiragongo Territory / North Kivu Relationship: single Commitment year: 01/10/2016 Number: 05278 Rank: Guard 1st class Function: Head of section
KAMATE MUNDUNAENDA Alexis Date of birth: 25/09/1995 (25 years old) Originally from: Lubero Territory / North Kivu Relationship: single Commitment year: 01/10/2016 Number: 05299 Rank: Guard 1st class Function: Deputy section
MANENO KATAGHALIRWA Reagan Date of birth: 05/03/1993 (27 years old) Originally from: Territory of Beni / North Kivu Relationship: single Commitment year: 01/12/2017 Number: NU Grade: NU Function: Patroller
KIBANJA BASHEKERE Eric Date of birth: 12/12/1992 (28 years old) Originally from: Rutshuru Territory / North Kivu Marital status: Married, 2 children Commitment year: 01/12/2017 Number: NU Grade: NU Function: Patroller
PALUKU BUDOYI Innocent Date of birth: 12/11/1992 (28 years old) Originally from: Nyiragongo Territory / North Kivu Relationship: single Commitment year: 01/12/2017 Number: NU Grade: NU Function: Patroller
NZABONIMPA NTAMAKIRIRO Prince Date of birth: 12/25/1993 (27 years old) Originally from: Rutshuru Territory / North Kivu Marital status: Married, 1 child Commitment year: 01/09/2017 Number: NU Grade: NU Function: Patroller