African Parks announced on the 19th of June that three men, one Garamba Park ranger and two members of the Congolese armed forces, were ambushed and killed by poachers on the 17th. The men were part of a reinforcement team sent into the bush via helicopter to support the group of rangers that originally made contact with the poaching unit. This comes shortly after the loss of Garamba ranger Agoyo Mbikoyo in late April.
The men responsible for the ambush on the 17th are believed to be South Sudanese although no certain developments have been released. However, there is a history of conflict between the Congolese government and the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the first five months of 2014, rangers had logged over 45 encounters with the terrorist organization.
A task force of Garamba rangers, Congolese military and regional force is currently in pursuit of the poachers responsible for the ambush.
The three men killed were: ranger Jean-Marie Kpionyeslinai, Corporal Kambale Musubao and Lieutenant Moise Mospado. The bodies of all three men were buried on the 18th; Musubao and Mospado were interred near their homes in Dungu and Kpionyeslinai was buried near his home in Nagero. Collectively, three wives and twelve children were left behind by the three men.
Peter Fearnhead, the C.E.O. of African Parks said, “Three wives lost their husbands and 12 children are now without fathers. Their deaths are a testimony to the threats and dangers that rangers, and members of the armed forces assisting them, face every day in thwarting and preventing poaching in Africa’s national parks and protected areas. They have paid the ultimate price in attempting to eliminate the scourge”. (Quote from Cynthia Walley’s release on the attack)
List of Garamba’s Recently Fallen
Jean-Marie Kpionyeslinai (17/06/15) leaves behind a wife and five children.
Kambale Musubao (17/06/15) leaves behind a wife.
Moise Mospado (17/06/15) leaves behind a wife and seven children.
Agoyo Mbikoyo (25/04/15) leaves behind a wife and two children.