On Friday, November 21, 2008, park rangers returned to Congo gorilla park after a year’s absence. The reserve in Congo is home to nearly a third of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Over a year ago rebel fighting forced the rangers to abandon the park and its occupants but fortunately, the fighting has ceased and they were allowed to return.
Moreover, UN agreed to send additional 3000 armed forces to the camp in Congo (making it 17000-strong) to ensure some semblance of stability and enable rangers, who are neutral in the conflict, to do their job.
The Virunga National Park is home to 200 out of 700 of the world’s mountain gorillas and the re-establishment of the rangers in crucial to protection of both fauna and flora of the region. Park authorities state that the animals (gorillas, elephants, hippos, antelopes) inhabiting Virunga (on the border of Uganda and Rwanda) have been facing many dangers from the rebels and other armed groups as well as poachers, squatters and coal burners. During 2007 repeated attacks 10 mountain gorillas were killed, among many other animals.
Therefore, it is vital to the survival of the species and the preservation of the ecosystem in the region for the rangers to return to work and hopefully forces on both sides of the conflict will agree that (at least in this case) preserving the hills of Virunga is beneficial for all.