Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Death threats for WWF employee in DRC

Death threats have been received by WWF employees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The threats arelinked to the organisation’s opposition to oil exploration in Virunga National Park.

Unidentified callers have threatened the personal safety of two employees working in the city of Goma, angered by a staff member’s public statements about the negative impacts of oil. one caller said: “We want his head.” 

Reports of intimidation have increased in the weeks sinceVirunga Chief Warden Emmanuel de Merode was shot while driving alone in a park vehicle. The callers threatened that allthough they had missed killing de Merode, they would not miss WWF’s employee. 

The WWF insists that authorities in DRC do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators of these threats and de Merode’s attack to justice. 

Tensions are high in Virunga National Park as UK oil company Soco International PLC conducts seismic tests in Lake Edward. WWF condemns the testing and all exploratory activities in the protected World Heritage Site. 

The park is found along the equator on the western edge of Democratic Republic of the Congo and is Africa’s oldest national park, a World Heritage Site and a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

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