Rebels overrun Virunga

This item appears on page 17 of the December 2008 issue.

Rebel fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo overran a major army camp in late October, killing a number of government soldiers and civilians. They also took over the headquarters of Virunga National Park, sending more than 50 park rangers fleeing into the forests, home to about 200 of the world’s 700 remaining mountain gorillas.

The raid took place three weeks after another attack on the same camp, Rumangabo, in which about 1,500 troops were killed. Due to the fighting, about 200,000 people have had to leave their homes since late August. The rebels say they are acting on behalf of the area’s Tutsi minority. At press time, the rebels were advancing on Goma, capital of the region.