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Garamba forest a nightmare

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th December 2008 03:00 AM

THE forested Garamba National Park, where the UPDF, SPLA and Congolese army are hunting for LRA rebels, has a difficult terrain. The park is dense with outlandish trees that are strongly buttressed with umbrella-like canopies.

THE forested Garamba National Park, where the UPDF, SPLA and Congolese army are hunting for LRA rebels, has a difficult terrain. The park is dense with outlandish trees that are strongly buttressed with umbrella-like canopies.

By Henry Mukasa

THE forested Garamba National Park, where the UPDF, SPLA and Congolese army are hunting for LRA rebels, has a difficult terrain. The park is dense with outlandish trees that are strongly buttressed with umbrella-like canopies.

The undergrowth of climbing plants and thickets make movement within the park almost impossible.

Dwellers depend on footpaths.

Obstacles also include impassable rivers that dissect the grasslands, hills, rocky areas and the wild animals.

There is no infrastructure to talk about.

In the circumstances, the fastest means of transport would be air transport.

But this is expensive and there are no airstrips or airports.

Garamba National Park, established in 1938, is located in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It stretches north-ward into South Sudan at Nabanga, Maridi and Ri-kwangba.

It measures 1,900 square miles (4,920 square kilometres), almost the size of the Republic of Burundi.

Its dense evergreen vegetation is fed by rivers Garamba and Dungu.

There are tens of small streams and expanses of swamps in many places.

On many occasions, LRA chief Joseph Kony was supposed to meet mediators and peace emissaries at Ri-kwangba, but he did not show up.

He cited heavy rains, which made rivers impassable for his failure to honour the appointments.

Mean annual rainfall is about 1260mm. Rains are usually heavy and incessant, while temperatures are generally low.

It has aquatic areas and savannas ranging from dense woodland to virtually tree-bare grasslands.

The tropical climate has a semi-moist rainy season (March to November) and a long dry period (November to March.

Wildlife includes the rare white rhinoceros, lions, leopards, buffaloes, hippopotamus, giraffe, elephants and monkeys.

The park also boasts of chimpanzees, baboons, antelope, waterbuck, hartebeest and mongoose.

It’s a world heritage site.

Garamba forest a nightmare

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