The Virunga National Park announces with regret the death of Park Ranger Faustin Biriko Nzabakurikiza which occured on April 1, 2018.
Faustin died from injuries sustained following an incident at the construction site of the Lubero hydroplant on the morning of 1st April. Ranger Faustin and his colleagues came under attack by armed men while protecting the site. Tragically, Ranger Faustin was killed in action during an exchange of fire. The situation has since been stabilized and the area secured. Construction activities have resumed and Tourism at the park has not been affected.
Ranger Faustin was a highly dedicated and courageous young ranger, having worked for the ICCN since 2014. Virunga National Park wishes to extend its deepest condolences Ranger Faustin’s family for their tragic loss, and to offer our sincere gratitude for his service.
Ranger Faustin leaves behind his pregnant wife and 10 month old child. To help support them at this extremely difficult time, please consider a donation to the Fallen Rangers Fund.
The armed men who attacked Virunga on 1 April in Lubero last were not precisely identified. At least, we know that three park rangers had lost their lives in August 2017, following an attack by the Mai Mai rebel group in this same part of Virunga. They occupy precisely part of the territories of Lubero and Rutshuru, which they allegedly occupy with rebels from Rwanda and Uganda known for their atrocities against civilians.