Two people were killed in a clash where an operation was launched by army troops and park rangers to clear a wildlife sanctuary of a settlement of illegal gold miners in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The illegal gold miners had received repeated warnings and a relocation site had been prepared for them, 30 kilometres away, according to the RFO’s human resources chief, Christian Mushingalwa.
He confirmed that there are two deaths and four victims severely injured among other wounded. The settlers had been ordered to move on July 23 this year, but they disobeyed.
The RFO mentioned that there are 101 species of mammals, including leopards and bongo antelopes, 376 birds species over lush forest and waterfalls spanning 1.23 million hectares. From these hectares, 282,000 are completely protested and have a ban on hunting.
Hunting is permitted in the remaining 950,000 hectares using traditional methods. The head of civil society organizations in Mambasa appealed for dialogue between parties that are in dispute in order to have a peaceful cohabitation between the reserve and the neighbouring communities.