Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Two Britons kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Two Britons kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Allied Democratic Forces rebels have also been accused of attacks and kidnappings near the park.

That attack brought the number of rangers killed on the job to 175 since the vast park in far eastern Congo was established in 1925, officials said.

In the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, unknown gunmen killed one of the guards of the Park and kidnapped the two tourists from the United Kingdom and their driver.

It spans (3,000 square miles 7,800 kilometres) along the border with Uganda and Rwanda.

The Foreign Office is in contact with the Congolese authorities monitoring the hunt for the kidnappers and staff are providing support to their families. "Following the ecoguard's death, two British citizens were taken away, along with their driver". "That would put their lives in danger", Joel Wenga, the ICCN's head of communications in North Kivu province told Reuters.

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Virunga is home to about one-quarter of the world's remaining mountain gorillas.

Five rangers and a driver were killed on 9 April.

In an interview with National Geographic a year ago, Virunga National Park Director Emmanuel de Merode said three main groups are responsible for the violence in the park. Before taking the tourists, they murdered the park ranger, Rachel Katumwa, 25, who had accompanied them there.

The advice, which was last updated two days ago, said tourists are vulnerable if travelling without escorted transport in the eastern part of the country and the "risk of kidnap or injury as a result of armed or criminal activity remains high".

It said that United Kingdom government staff are not always in the area and the British embassy's ability to offer consular assistance may be "severely limited".

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