Two Britons captured in DRC released: British official

17 May, 2018, 06:21 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Two Britons captured in DRC released: British official

Since tourism was relaunched in 2014, Virunga National Park - Africa's oldest national park - has received more than 17,000 visitors, keen to see its rare mountain gorillas or climb the active Nyiragongo volcano.

We are extremely relieved that the release has happened, they are now on their way home to their families, which is obviously what we were all hoping for.

The female park ranger was killed trying to protect the two British tourists after gunmen ambushed their vehicle in the national park.

Rangers said on Tuesday they had stopped tourists entering Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park during investigations into the kidnapping of two Britons there on Sunday. "We do not plan to comment further".

Park director, Emmanuel de Merode, said the young ranger's life had been "tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "delighted" to announce their release.

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"I pay tribute to the DRC authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their tireless help during this awful case", Johnson said in a statement. The kidnapping took place near the village of Kibati, north of Goma, in North Kivu.

On Friday a Congolese park guard was killed in an attack before two British tourists - Robert Jesty and Bethan Davies - and their Congolese driver were kidnapped.

She was transferred to a nearby hospital to receive emergency medical treatment, but died shortly afterwards of her injuries, the park said.

"We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident".

Virunga is a UNESCO world heritage site covering 3,000 square miles on the country's border with Uganda and Rwanda.

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