'Death threats' for WWF staff in DR Congo park

2014-05-13 09:16

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Kinshasa - The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) on Monday condemned "death threats" against two of its staff fighting oil exploration in a Democratic Republic of Congo nature park just weeks after the park's director was shot.

"Unidentified callers have threatened the personal safety of two employees working in the city of Goma," WWF said in a statement.

The staff have been involved in efforts to block oil exploration by UK company Soco International PLC in nearby Virunga National Park, an 800 000ha nature reserve that is among the oldest in Africa and home to rare and endangered mountain gorillas.

Referring to one of the campaigners, a threatening caller said, "We want his head," according to WWF.

The organisation said there had been an increase in intimidating calls, text messages and notes since the park's director Emmanuel de Merode was shot several times while driving in the region in April.

International conventions

"The callers to WWF said that they had missed killing de Merode, but would not miss WWF's employee," the organisation said.

"WWF insists that authorities in DRC do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators of these threats and de Merode's attack to justice."

There has been mounting worldwide opposition to oil exploration in Virunga, a Unesco world heritage site that is thought to have the greatest biodiversity on the continent.

The UK government, Nobel laureate archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, and Virgin's Richard Branson have all spoken out against Soco's operations, which have recently involved seismic tests in Lake Edward

Unesco says exploration would breach international conventions on protecting world heritage, to which DRC is a signatory.

But it fears laws could be changed by the Congolese government to allow oil concessions covering 85% of the park's territory to be exploited. Exploration permits have already been distributed to international firms, including Soco and France's Total.

Soco's deputy director Roger Cagle said that the firm had been "informed of the news that two employees of the NGO... were threatened as a result of their opposition to oil development.

"Soco condemns this behaviour and does not tolerate any act of threat or intimidation."

Local activists said in October that they received regular threats bordering on harassment.
Read more on:    wwf  |  drc  |  environment  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.