2020 will go down as a somber year in human history with a global pandemic and a year full of protest against racial injustice. For Virunga National Park, 2020, will be remembered as the deadliest year in the history of the park with 21 Rangers and Employees who tragically lost their lives in 2020.
Today we remember some of the fallen Virunga rangers and colleagues
- 12 Virunga park rangers: (DR Congo) ABEDI IYALU Kadhafi, Ranger, aged 23 years, ANUARI BIHIRA Lumumba, Ranger, aged 27 years, BADI MUKANDAMA Djamali, Ranger, aged 27 years, FAZILI JUSTIN Junior, Ranger, aged 29 years, KAMBALE MUTSOMANI Jean-Louis, Ranger, aged 31 years, KAMBALE TEREMUKA Jules, Ranger, aged 28 years, KASOLE JANVIER Joseph, Ranger, aged 30 years, MUGISHO KULONDWA Augustin, Ranger, aged 27 years, MUHINDO ISEVIHANGO Jeannot; Ranger, aged 30 years, MUHINDO KATEMBO Jacques, Ranger, aged 29 years, NDAGIJIMANA NDAHOBARI Hértier, Ranger, aged 27 years, PALUKU KALONDERO Moise, Ranger, aged 30 years were Virunga Park Rangers who were killed in an ambush near the headquarters of Virunga National Park in Rumangabo om April 24, 2020. More
- Ruphin Masumbuko Malekani, a driver for the park authority, was also killed. More
- Germain Kambale Vyasaki, 28: (DR Congo) A Virunga National Park Ranger who was killed on March 3, 2020 during an attack near Nyamilima. More
- Bagurubumwe Chuhoze Deogene, 47: (DR Congo) He was killed on 10th October 2020 during an attack on an ICCN patrol post near the Village of Sarambwe. More
- Alphonse Musafiri Gasacyoya, 64: (DR Congo) A Virunga National Park pilot who died in a plane crash on November 18, 2020. Gasacyoya had trained Congolese pilots for park patrols. More
At the end of this tragic year we stand with Virunga family and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all the victims.
Support Virunga Widow Fund here
More on Notable deaths in conservation in 2020
It is impossible to capture all of 2020’s losses between the global pandemic, the impacts of natural disasters often exacerbated by human activities, and the atrocities committed against environmental defenders.
Every death is of course notable, but this list acknowledges a few of the 2020 deaths that carry special significance to the conservation community.