Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Sunday announced that the two Britons held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been released unharmed.
Johnson paid tribute to DR Congo authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their “tireless help”.
A statement by Virunga National Park said, they are receiving “support and medical attention”.
We can now confirm the release and safe return of passengers and driver who are currently receiving support and medical attention.— Virunga NationalPark (@gorillacd) May 13, 2018
A park ranger killed by the kidnappers has been named as Rachel Masika Baraka.
The group’s driver was injured and released shortly after the abduction, which took place near the village of Kibati, just north of Goma, on the morning of Friday May, 11.
It is with deep sadness that Virunga National Park confirms the death of 25 year old Ranger, Rachel Masika Baraka, during a serious incident on the morning of Friday 11 May: https://t.co/YwaYk6ULmA— Virunga NationalPark (@gorillacd) May 13, 2018
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Eastern Congo has been the scene of successive waves of violence over the past two and a half decades and was at the epicentre of two wars between 1996 and 2003 that killed millions, mainly through hunger and disease.
Rebel groups and militias still control large swathes of the territory. More than 175 rangers have died protecting Virunga National Park, which is located in the rugged mountains and volcanic plains adjacent to neighouring Rwanda and Uganda.
It has nevertheless attracted a growing number of visitors keen to visit its endangered mountain gorillas and the active Nyiragongo volcano.