JUN 15, 2012: Park ranger stabbed after SOCO enters Virunga NP

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Today a park ranger was stabbed after SOCO International decided to enter the Virunga National Park with an helicopter and land in Nyakakoma.

The UK oil company SOCO International flew from the International airport of Goma to the fishery in Nyakakoma, at the center of the Virunga National park. After arriving at Lake Edward, officials of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation, ICCN, asked SOCO to indentify themselves and show their permits. No response from SOCO, but from the Navy officers posted there and guiding SOCO’s entrance to the park.

The navy officers threatened the rangers with their weapons, then one officer stabbed a ranger of the Virunga National Park. The situation is critical. MORE UPDATES TO FOLLOW.

NOUVELLES – Un garde du parc poignarde apres arrivee de SOCO dans le PN Virunga – Aujourd’ hui l’entreprise SOCO International à voler à partir de l’aéroport International de Goma pour atterrir par force dans la pêcherie de Nyakako…ma. A leurs arrivee dans le PNVi, les agents de l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, ICCN en sigle ont voulus demander leur autorisation, directement les militaires de la Force Naval qui étaient mis à la garde ont directement pointé les gardes avec leurs armes, puis poignarde un garde parc de l’ICCN. La situation est critique.

Source: CONDUCTEUR D’ANTENNE DU VENDREDI 15 JUIN 2012 – Journaliste Reporter Radio Okapi – Goma

2 thoughts on “JUN 15, 2012: Park ranger stabbed after SOCO enters Virunga NP

  1. PRESS STATEMENT
    IMMEDATE RELEASE 16/06/12

    Statement on the Helicopter Incident/Virunga National Park on 15th June 2012

    “SOCO International PLC is aware of the situation that took place yesterday (15th June) in Nyakakoma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    We would like to make it very clear that no employees or associates were involved and we are in no way responsible for the reported incident surrounding a routine, planned and fully authorised helicopter flight. The ‘Save Virunga website’ statement contained a series of inaccuracies and did not include the fact that the helicopter flight had departed approximately 45 minutes before the reported incident took place.

    Further more comments on the Save Virunga website we believe are designed to be inflammatory and part of a dedicated campaign of spreading misleading information to link SOCO International PLC to negative environmental stories concerning the Virunga National Park.

    SOCO International PLC is a responsible company that operates with total transparency and in accordance with the laws of each country it operates in.

    In the DRC, SOCO International PLC operates within the regulations stipulated by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with which it has positive relations.”

    ENDS

    1. Further information please contact Luke Chauveau +447970054560
    2. For more detailed information on SOCO International PLC please visit http://www.socointernational.co.uk

  2. Save Virunga provides a repository for all news related to oil exploration. The website is part of a dedicated campaign to protect the Virunga National Park from oil exploration and exploitation.

    International precedents, notably the Niger Delta, show that oil development in any area, let alone a designated National Park and World Heritage Site, do not go together with environmental and conservation goals.

    Save Virunga lets the facts speak for themselves, promotes discussion and assists in developing broad public understanding of key environmental, human rights and security threats in the Virunga region.

    Information is provided by and verified with local stakeholders, including international and national NGOs, co-workers, local and national media stations.

    We welcome and respect the views of other stakeholders.

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