Congolese poachers repatriated

Virunga - Two poachers from Kibumba zone in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who were arrested in Volcanoes National Park (PNV) as they laid snares to catch Bushbucks and Antelopes in the park, were handed over to their Congolese authorities yesterday.
Congolese poachers arrested with snares they had planted within the park.(Photo B. Mukombozi)
Congolese poachers arrested with snares they had planted within the park.(Photo B. Mukombozi)

Virunga - Two poachers from Kibumba zone in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who were arrested in Volcanoes National Park (PNV) as they laid snares to catch Bushbucks and Antelopes in the park, were handed over to their Congolese authorities yesterday.

They were arrested by the Rwanda Anti-Poaching patrols, a day before Christmas and detained at Kinigi Police Station pending their deportation to their country.

Park officials together with police handed over the two poachers to officials from the Congolese Institute of Nature Conservation (ICCN), accompanied by the local authorities from Kibumba zone.

According to the Chief Park Warden for PNV, Prosper Uwingeri, the suspects were arrested following a joint operation by RDB/Volcanoes Park and their counterparts from ICCN to deal with cross-border poachers. 

The two suspects identified as Kanani Gakima and Senzira Munyembaraga, pleaded guilty and promised to become anti poaching agents.

During the two-week operation conducted through camping system by game rangers, more than 300 snares were removed, with the biggest number of being discovered on the Congolese side.

“The arrest of poachers is a big success since those we capture normally give us information useful to combat poaching activities,” Uwingeri said, adding that most of the conservationists they have are former poachers. 

Last week, a baby Gorilla in the Umubano Group was rescued by the Veterinary Doctors from a snare.

Park officials revealed that threats to the Mountain Gorillas include human induced illegal activities especially harvesting of Bamboo and poaching.

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