Virunga: To Defend the Environment, We must Defend Human Rights

Friends of the Earth International The neoliberal model of ‘development’ is ravaging nature and pitting communities and eco-defenders against powerful corporations and colluding police and military forces. The violence must stop! Around the world, activists and communities are raising their voices to stop environmental devastation and promote the possibility of another world, where nature is… Read More

Commemorating Real Actors of Change: From Dian Fossey to Local Communities

  What makes these pictures so powerful is that these women are not so different from one another. One dedicated more than 18 year of her life to the protection and study of the Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains; the others are Congolese women, mothers that decided to voice their concerns about oil exploration in… Read More

Virunga: The most Dangerous Job in Africa

DRC, the continent’s beautiful and precarious heart, sits once again upon a ticking bomb. 19 JUN 2015 00:00 TONY WEAVER It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And one of the most tragic. It is that corner of Africa where Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo come together. Straddling… Read More

JUN 2015: Global Witness: UK Oil Company Bankrolled Soldiers Accused of Bribery and Violence Against Oil Opponents

AGM scandal for British company at centre of Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Oscar-nominated film. Cheques and receipts revealed by Global Witness show oil company Soco International paid over $40,000 in just two weeks to Congolese military officer accused of bribery and violence. Officer and his soldiers implicated in bribing, intimidating and even killing Soco opponents. Company dogged… Read More

DRC Civil Society: Survival of Communities in Virunga National Park is Non-Negotiable

Open Letter to His Excellency Mr. Prime Minister and Head of Government, Democratic Republic of Congo . The civil society organizations working for the promotion and protection of the Environment and Human Rights in North Kivu (CREDDHO, FECOPEILE, IDPE, SOPR and CREF Network), in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are grateful for… Read More

Virunga discussed in UK Parliament: Serious Concerns Remain

Allegations of human rights abuses and corruption, associated with SOCO International’s oil exploration in and around Virunga National Park, were discussed in the UK parliament this week. In the House of Commons on 17th December 2014, Pauline Latham MP OBE raised the Question: “Will the Secretary of State tell us what her Department has done… Read More

SEPT 4, 2014: Global Witness investigates SOCO’s Oil Exploration Activities in Virunga

‘Drillers in the mist’: How secret payments and a climate of violence helped UK firm open African national park to oil British oil company Soco Internationaland its contractors havemade illicit payments, appear to have paid off armed rebels and benefited from fear and violence fostered by government security forces in eastern Congo, as they sought… Read More

Pandora’s Box: SOCO Oil Company ruining for Virunga’s Natural Resources

Virunga, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is Africa’s oldest national park, and home to half the continent’s endangered mountain gorillas. It is one of the world’s great heritage sites with three thousand square miles of precious flora and fauna. Since 2010, the British firm SOCO International has been exploring the region for… Read More

The Treasure of Virunga…De Merode’s ‘crazy’ plan…he lives and so does his plan!

Unauthorized translation from the article „Der Schatz von Virunga“ by Juliane von Mittelstaedt, published in Der Spiegel 17/19.4.2014. Translation by Angela Roemelt. Only the German original is valid for quotation. They never met but they compete against each other. One of fighting for a treasure above the soil, the other one for those beneath it.… Read More

Who wants to turn Virunga National Park into an oil drilling site?

Insightful and excellent article of DRC blogger Chantal Faida Mulenga – Byuma. Her blog can be consulted at http://chantalfaida.blogspot.fr. Chantal reflects on the green potential of Virunga, the promises made, the position of local communities as well as of DRC government, and what will be the future of the park. Unofficial translation. — Established in… Read More

7# NO TO OIL, STOP THE THREATS: North Kivu Civil Society response to Mbayma’s Threats

IN 2013 North Kivu Civil Society response to Mbayma’s Threats 12-03-2014 North Kivu Civil Society official response to the letter of Guy Mbayama, urging DRC and ICCN’s authorities to remember that Civil society actors in North Kivu have the primary duty to defend and promote, at all times and everywhere, the rights of citizens in… Read More