The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Azoulay, expressed her sorrow and deep concern over the new armed attack, perpetrated in the morning of Wednesday 24 June 2020, against guards of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), inside the Virunga National Park, a property inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After the terrible killing of four civilians and 13 staff members of Virunga National Park on 24 April, this latest attack fills us with consternation and sorrow," Azoulay said. Once again, I pay tribute to the five injured guards, their families and colleagues. As it has already done after the 24 April attack, notably through its Rapid Response Facility (RRF), UNESCO will continue to support the efforts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to build the capacity of staff responsible for the protection of its natural sites.
According to the communication department of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), four of the five seriously injured guards were evacuated to the city of Goma for appropriate care.
The Virunga National Park is the first national park to have been created in Africa. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1979 because of its exceptional biodiversity, with many endemic and rare species, such as the mountain gorilla. Armed attacks against ICCN staff working in the parks have increased in recent years.