Royal Corner

Prince William Condemns Ranger Attack

The Duke of Cambridge reacted to the horrendous deaths of six Park Rangers killed in an attack in Virunga National Park.


JANUARY 13th, 2021

Prince William feeds a baby Rhino in Africa - © Getty Images

P

rince William has added his voice to condemn the horrendous attack which killed six park rangers on Sunday 10th January 2021. The six rangers were ambushed by armed assailants on Africa’s oldest national park - Virunga National Park. The identities of the rangers have been confirmed as Burhani Abdou Surumwe, aged 30 years; Kamate Mundunaenda Alexis, aged 25 years; Maneno Kataghalirwa Reagan, aged 27 years; Kibanja Bashekere Eric, aged 28 years; Paluku Budoyi Innocent, aged 28 years; Nzabonimpa Ntamakiriro Prince, aged 27 years.

The Duke of Cambridge – who has been a long-time activist and supporter of the incredible work Park Rangers do – released a statement condemning the attack. He said: “The horrendous attack on staff at the Virunga National Park is abhorrent and I condemn the actions of those responsible in the strongest terms.

“Rangers who work tirelessly to protect both the national park and the neighbouring communities should be honoured not attacked. They should never find themselves in a position where their lives are on the line.”

The identities of the rangers have been confirmed as Burhani Abdou Surumwe, aged 30 years; Kamate Mundunaenda Alexis, aged 25 years; Maneno Kataghalirwa Reagan, aged 27 years; Kibanja Bashekere Eric, aged 28 years; Paluku Budoyi Innocent, aged 28 years; Nzabonimpa Ntamakiriro Prince, aged 27 years. - © HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, 2020


One other ranger was also injured during the attack, through his injuries have since been reported to be non-life threatening.

A Virunga National Park spokesperson announced the news through a statement explaining the events which took place: “At approximately 07.30am local time, the Rangers were ambushed while on foot patrol inside the Park. The attack took place near Kabuendo, which is located near the border of the Park, in the Central sector, between Nyamilima and Niamitwitwi.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that the rangers were taken by surprise and had no opportunity to defend themselves, and that those responsible for the attack are local Mai-Mai groups.”



Mai-Mai groups as a reference to community-based militia groups situated in the DR Congo. They have a long history of links to attacks on rangers the gorillas in the park.

The national park’s statement added: “Virunga National Park deeply regrets the tragic loss of life among its Rangers, who work tirelessly and with dedication to protect both the Park and the neighbouring communities from the tyranny of armed groups. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten nor be in vain.”

The Duke of Cambridge visits the Ol Maiso Primary School in Kenya in 2018 - © Getty Images


Prince William has a long-held passion for conservation, with a specific love for the African continent. Throughout his life the African National Parks have been a founding part of his charitable work within the environment and its protection.

In 2005, the Duke picked Tusk – a brilliant conservation charity – as one of his first patronages and has since been a hugely important and powerful figure in promoting its vital message of conservation.



Charlie Mayhew MBD, Co-Founder and CEO of Tusk spoke earlier this year in an interview with The Rumble Online reinstating the Prince’s impact: “The wonderful thing for us is that this is a cause that he is passionate about and he has a very deep knowledge for, so the great thing is that whenever he speaks out, or addresses the media, there is an instant recognition amongst the people listening that this is something which really means a great deal to him, and that really helps to communicate the urgency and the need for the work that we do.”

Prince William with the Shakarimba band, who were flown in from Botswana to perform at the Prince's 21st birthday party in 2003. - © WireImage


Last year, the Duke also launched the Earthshot Prize – the most prestigious environment award in history. The awards feature the inclusion of the Wildlife parks contribution and will actively help promote in their universal endeavour to protect the natural world.

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