Kinshasa – A warden at a wildlife park in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo was killed and three others were injured last week in an attack by suspected rebels, the country’s conservation agency said on Monday.
The attack at the Upemba park took place in the early hours of last Tuesday, according to the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN).
It blamed “Mai-Mai rebels,” the generic term for ethnically-based armed groups, of which there are dozens in the eastern Democratic Republic fo Congo.
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A statement by the ICCN’s local branch named the fatality as Emmanuel Kaloba Nkolwe, 41, described as “coming from a family of park wardens.” He had worked with the ICCN since 2012.
The vast central African country has been plagued by unrest for decades, notably in the mineral-rich east.
Nature reserves are frequently caught up in the fighting.
The Upemba park’s populations of black rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo and other fauna have steadily declined since its creation in 1939.
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