Congo to Destroy UNESCO World Heritage Sites in search for Oil; Sebastiane Ebatamehi; African Exponent

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Aww: Man Comforts Gorilla Who Just Lost His Mom; Cyber Breeze

We all know that losing a parent can be one of the most tragic days of a person’s life. This photo that was taken by photographer Phil Moore shows us that that the feelings of loss and sadness that come with losing a mother aren’t limited to the human species. Read on to find out […]

Source: Aww: Man Comforts Gorilla Who Just Lost His Mom

Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Prioritises Oil Over Conservation; Duncan E Omondi Gumba; All Africa

Analysis – The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has decided to degazette parts of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites to allow for oil drilling. Environmentalists have reacted sharply to the decision to open up Virunga and Salonga national parks – a move that is likely to jeopardise a regional treaty on the protection of Africa’s most biodiverse wildlife habitat and the endangered mountain gorilla.

Source: Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Prioritises Oil Over Conservation

Congo says it will open two national parks up to oil drilling; Amedee Mwarabu; Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo’s government said on Friday that it has decided to open up parts of Virunga and Salonga National Parks, home to mountain gorillas, bonobos and other rare species, to oil drilling.

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DRC: Oil drilling allowed in last refuge of ‘Critically Endangered’ apes; Down To Earth

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to half the world’s mountain gorillas

Source: DRC: Oil drilling allowed in last refuge of ‘Critically Endangered’ apes

Congo-Kinshasa: DR Congo Will Open Virunga, Salonga Parks to Oil Companies; Deutsche Welle

Kinshasa has defended its right to declassify sections of the parks over the protests of environmental activists. The two UNESCO World Heritage sites are home to countless rare plants and animals.

Source: Congo-Kinshasa: DR Congo Will Open Virunga, Salonga Parks to Oil Companies

Gorillas, guns and guerrillas – a deadly mix in an African park; BBC

DR of Congo – Virunga National Park

One of Africa’s most stunning parks – Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo – has suffered a major blow following the killing of a ranger, and the abduction of two British tourists, who were later released.

The attack has forced the park’s boss – Belgian prince Emmanuel de Merode – to announce a suspension of tourism.

This will be another setback to efforts to earn much-needed income to protect the World Heritage Site from the lawlessness that has gripped the region since the fall of long-serving ruler Mobutu Sese Seko more than two decades ago.

How dangerous is Virunga?

Boasting Africa’s most diverse wildlife, Virunga – which stretches across 7,800 sq km (3,000 sq miles) – is one of the most dangerous parks on the continent.

The extent of the threat is reflected by the fact that between 1,500 and 2,000 armed fighters – according to Mr De Merode – roam Virunga and its surrounding areas.

They belong to numerous different rebel groups, who battle for control of the region’s rich resources.

They fish illegally, slaughter its animals, fell its trees – and kill, rape and abduct locals and foreigners alike.

Read more from source: Gorillas, guns and guerrillas – a deadly mix in an African park

Britons kidnapped in DR Congo gorilla sanctuary ‘relieved’ to be released; Sky

DR of Congo – Virunga National Park

The Britons were visiting Virunga National Park when they were ambushed by men who killed the park ranger travelling with them.

Two Britons who were kidnapped and held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo have said they are “very relieved” to have been released.

Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty were among three people abducted by unidentified armed men while visiting Virunga National Park, a renowned gorilla sanctuary in the east of the country.

In a statement, the pair said: “We are very relieved that there has been a positive outcome to the kidnapping and are very grateful for the excellent support we have received. We do not plan to comment further.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “delighted” to announce their release.

“I pay tribute to the DRC authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their tireless help during this terrible case,” he said.

A 25-year-old park ranger travelling with Ms Davies and Mr Jesty was killed and their driver was also taken captive, a park spokesman said.

Read more from source: Britons kidnapped in DR Congo gorilla sanctuary ‘relieved’ to be released

Search for kidnapped UK tourists in DR Congo; BBC

DR of Congo – Virunga National Park

A search is continuing for two British tourists who were kidnapped in a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

DRC army spokesman Major Guillaume Kaiko Ndjike told Reuters that soldiers had joined rangers in the search operation at the Virunga National Park.

The park’s director said the tourists’ vehicle was ambushed by gunmen, who killed a ranger and seized the driver.

The Foreign Office said it was supporting the families.

It also said it was in close contact with the DRC authorities.

Local media reports say the ranger shot dead was a female guard, while the UK citizens – who have not been named – were taken along with their Congolese driver.

Park director Emmanuel de Merode told the AFP news agency: “I confirm that our vehicle was attacked. Three people were kidnapped, including two tourists.”

The incident took place just north of the city of Goma, North Kivu province.

The BBC’s Louise Dewast, reporting from the country’s capital Kinshasa, said the situation was “very serious”.

Read more from source: Search for kidnapped UK tourists in DR Congo

Two Britons kidnapped after visiting gorilla sanctuary in DR Congo; SKy

DR of Congo – Virunga National Park

They were taken while visiting the Virunga National Park, a renowned gorilla sanctuary in the east of the African country.

Two British citizens have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The pair are believed to have been visiting the Virunga National Park, a gorilla sanctuary in the east of the African country, when they were abducted on Friday.

The Britons were among a group of people taken hostage, according to a spokesperson for the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN).

A female park ranger travelling with them was killed and their driver was also abducted, a park spokesman said.

Their vehicle was ambushed while bringing the tourists from Kibumba to the city of Goma, Joel Wengamulay, ICCN spokesman told the UN-backed Radio Okapi.

“For the moment the (ICCN) cannot communicate much about the incident because the hostages are still in captivity. That would put their lives in danger,” he said, adding that investigations have begun into the attack.

Read more from source: Two Britons kidnapped after visiting gorilla sanctuary in DR Congo