DR Congo again blames Hutu rebels for ranger massacre

DR Congo again blames Hutu rebels for ranger massacre

Visits to Virunga have been suspended since March 19 in DR Congo's bid to halt the new coronavirus pandemic
Visits to Virunga have been suspended since March 19 in DR Congo's bid to halt the new coronavirus pandemic

KINSHASA - DR Congo on Monday reiterated its accusation that Rwandan rebels in the east of the country killed 12 rangers and five others at the world-famous Virunga national park.

Fighters from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) were behind the April 24 attack, said Major General Maurice Aguru Mamba, citing a preliminary investigation.

He told a news conference those who attacked the UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its mountain gorillas, were from a "specialised unit" of the FDLR.

"Our sources are credible," said Aguru Mamba, who commands CORPPN, a corps assigned to the protection of national parks and natural reserves.

The 17 people were killed in an ambush near the headquarters of the park in North Kivu province bordering Rwanda and Uganda.

Virunga park management said it had "precise indications" that the FDLR was responsible but three days later the FDLR denied the claims and blamed Rwandan government troops.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame last Monday denied persistent rumours that Rwandan soldiers had infiltrated eastern DRC to fight the FDLR, whose leaders were involved in Rwanda's 1994 genocide that killed about 800,000 people -- mainly Tutsis.

The DRC army has been fighting an array of armed groups in the east of the vast central African country for nearly three decades.

Visits to Virunga have been suspended since March 19 in DR Congo's bid to halt the new coronavirus pandemic.

The park previously banned visitors between May 2018 and the start of last year after two British tourists were kidnapped. They were later released unharmed.

A total of 176 of Virunga's rangers have been killed in the last 20 years.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Singapore proposes new law to tackle harmful online content

Social media sites could be blocked or fined in Singapore if they fail to stop users in the tightly-controlled country from accessing "harmful" content under a proposed law introduced in parliament on Monday.

3 Oct 2022

Calls for more funding as pre-COP27 climate talks open in DR Congo

KINSHASA: Warning "no-one will escape" a worsening crisis, DR Congo led calls on Monday for a surge in funding to brake global heating and fight its impacts at the start of pre-COP27 climate talks in Kinshasa.

3 Oct 2022

Kim Kardashian pays $1.26m for unlawful crypto promo

WASHINGTON: US reality star Kim Kardashian has agreed to pay a $1.26 million fine after unlawfully pushing a cryptocurrency on Instagram without revealing that she was paid to do so, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday.

3 Oct 2022