Democratic Republic of the Congo: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation condemns killing of six guards in Virunga National Park

Congolese ladies hold paper replicas of Democratic Republic of Congo's new flag during a ceremony to mark the signing of a post-war constitution at the presidential palace in the capital Kinshasa February 18, 2006. REUTERS/David Lewis

PARIS, France, April 11, 2018The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today (April 10, 2018) condemed the deadly attack perpetrated on 9 April against the staff of the Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during which six guards and their driver lost their lives.

“I condemn this deadly attack on six guards of the Virunga National Park and their driver. I call on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take all the necessary legal measures to put an end to these repetitive attacks,” said Ms Azoulay.

This is the third attack this year against the staff of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation in the Virunga Park, and follows similar acts on other World Heritage sites in Central Africa, in Dja and Sangha Tri-National. Since 1996, attacks in the Virunga National Park have claimed over 175 victims.

The Director-General calls on the international community to help the Institute ensure the safety of local people and staff. With the support of the European Union, UNESCO has been investing for several years in strengthening human capacity and resources of World Heritage Sites in the countries of central Africa that are facing security challenges.

The Director-General pays tribute to the courage of the guards who risk their lives to ensure the protection of this heritage.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United

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