World
Gunmen shoot Belgian head of Virunga National Park
Publish Date: Apr 16, 2014
Gunmen shoot Belgian head of Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park Chief Park Warden Emmanuel de Merode
  • mail
  • img
newvision

GOMA  - Unidentified armed men on Tuesday critically wounded the Belgian head of Africa's oldest wildlife reserve, the Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said.
 
The victim, Emmanuel de Merode, "was shot in the chest," North Kivu provincial governor Julien Paluku told AFP, following the attack 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital Goma.
 
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders tweeted his best wishes for De Merode's swift recovery, adding that "we are opening an enquiry", into the apparent ambush.
 
A Congolese army official also said that an enquiry was underway.
 
Paluku said the attack happened as De Merode was driving himself, unescorted, from Goma towards the big ICCN (Congolese Institute for Conservation and Nature) centre in Rumangabo.
 
De Merode was in hospital in Goma where he was said to be in intensive care following an operation to remove bullets from his body.
 
The Virunga reserve, on the border with Uganda and Rwanda, covers 800,000 hectares (two million acres) has attained worldwide renown, notably for its rare and endangered mountain gorillas.
 
The area is exceptionally rich in biodiversity, but is located in scarred North Kivu province, tracts of which have been ravaged by successive conflicts for more than 20 years.
 
Poachers and logging teams have damaged the reserve, as elsewhere in Africa, but the park is also criss-crossed by rival armed groups and soldiers, while local people have taken up illegal residence.
 
The quest for oil is the latest threat to Africa's most venerable wildlife reserve, already hard hit by deforestation, poaching and armed conflict.
 
Created in 1925 in the far east of what was then the Belgian Congo, the whole park has been declared an "endangered" part of the global heritage by UNESCO.
 
The WWF conservation group argues that the DR Congo has more to gain in economic terms by protecting the park and developing sustainable tourism, fishing and hydroelectric projects, rather than undertaking a search for oil that might not even be there.
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
More deaths in Nigeria
A total of 23 people have now died from ethanol poisoning blamed on locally brewed gin in southwest Nigeria, the local health commissioner said on Monday....
Nepal quake death toll surges to 3,200
International rescue teams and relief supplies begin arriving in Kathmadu to help terrified and homeless survivors of the deadly quake....
Aftershocks cause more terror as Nepal quake toll tops 2,300
Powerful aftershocks rocked Nepal Sunday, panicking survivors of a quake that killed more than 2,300 and triggering fresh avalanches at Everest base camp, as rescuers dug through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu....
KUTESA: Mobilizing Resources for the Post-2015  Development Agenda
The President of the United Nations General Assembly Sam Kutesa has outlined a new universal development agenda that presents a collective commitment to humankind and the planet....
Google executive killed on Mt. Everest
A Google executive and self-described adventurer is among 10 people killed at a Mount Everest base camp in an avalanche....
Frantic search for Nepal quake survivors as toll nears 2,000
Rescuers in Nepal searched frantically Sunday for survivors of a huge quake that killed nearly 2,000, digging through rubble....
Do you support KCCA'S move to return city communter buses?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter