Virunga National Park- Key Facts

Recently, in the Virunga National Park, six rangers have been ambushed and killed. They were attacked when they were patrolling. As per the investigations, the attack was carried by the Mai-Mai Group.

About Virunga National Park

  • The park is a national park in the Albertine Rift Valley of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • The park was established in the year 1925.
  • The park is one among the first protected areas in Africa.
  • The park has a varying altitude of 680 m in the Semliki River valley to 5,109 m in the Rwenzori Mountains.
  • The park extends along the international borders with Uganda and Rwanda in the east.
  • The park covers an area of 8,090 km2.
  • It has been listed in the World Heritage in Danger list since 1994.
  • It is also a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site since 1979.

Active Volcano in the park

  • Two active volcanoes namely the Mount Nyiiagongo and Nyamuragira is situated in the park.
  • These volcanoes have significantly shaped the diverse habitats and wildlife of the national park.

Flora and Fauna

The park has recorded more than 3,000 faunal and floral species. Out of these, more than 300 species are endemic to the Albertine Rift including eastern gorilla and golden monkey.

About Mai-Mai Group

‘Mai-Mai’ term denotes the local militia groups in the eastern part of the DRC.  This group is active in the area for a long time. Most of the groups were formed so as to resist the invasion of Rwandan forces and Rwanda-affiliated Congolese rebel groups. The groups were also formed to exploit the war for their own advantage by organizing the looting, cattle rustling or banditry. The group include the armed forces which are led by warlords and traditional tribal elders. Mai-Mai term does not refer to any particular movement, affiliation or political objective. But it represents a broad group.

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