Monday, 21 May 2018
Latest news
Main » British tourists 'kidnapped' at Virunga wildlife park in Democratic Republic of Congo

British tourists 'kidnapped' at Virunga wildlife park in Democratic Republic of Congo

12 May 2018

The Foreign Office is investigating reports that two British citizens have been kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office says it is in contact with Congolese authorities following an incident involving two British nationals.

The tourists were reportedly taken on a route after a ranger was killed in the park today in North Kivu.

According to officials at the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICC), which is in charge of managing the park, the two tourists were kidnapped while returning to the city of Goma accompanied by park wardens.

More news: 1 killed, 2 badly wounded in South Africa mosque attack

The man and woman were reportedly abducted on Friday while visiting the Virunga National Park, a renowned gorilla sanctuary in the east of the country.

A spokesperson for the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) said: "For the moment the [ICCN] can not communicate much about the incident because the hostages are still in captivity".

The Virunga Mountains are one of only two places in the world where the mountain gorilla is found.

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

More news: Jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim to receive royal pardon

It is famously home to critically endangered mountain gorillas, and was the scene of a documentary on Netflix called Virunga. One female park ranger was "wounded" and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

However, tourism has suffered badly as militant groups and criminal gangs continue to fund a long-running war by pillaging the park's resources.

Five park guards and a driver were killed in an ambush in early April.

More news: Kansas picked as participant in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program

British tourists 'kidnapped' at Virunga wildlife park in Democratic Republic of Congo