Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Two British Tourists Kidnapped in Congo Freed

Two British Tourists Kidnapped in Congo Freed

The two British tourists were kidnapped last week at a national park which is well known for its rare mountain gorillas in the central African country.

In a statement, the pair said: "We are very relieved that there has been a positive outcome to the kidnapping and are very grateful for the excellent support we have received".

The management of DR Congo's Virunga Park announced on Tuesday that it has temporarily halted tourist activities after the murder of a guard and the kidnapping of two British holidaymakers. The kidnapping took place near the village of Kibati, north of Goma, in North Kivu.

Baraka was critically injured when the vehicle the four were traveling in was attacked by armed assailants, the park said on its website.

Baraka was rushed to hospital following the attack, but died from injuries shortly afterwards.

"She was one of the park's 26 female rangers and was highly committed, showing true bravery in her work".

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A funeral service was held on Monday for Rachel Baraka, the 25-year-old ranger who was shot dead as she tried to protect the couple during Friday's ambush, before she was laid to rest in the park.

Eastern Congo has seen successive waves of violence over the past quarter century and was at the epicentre of two wars between 1996 and 2003 that killed millions, mainly through hunger and disease.

It is also home to endangered mountain gorillas and the active Nyiragongo volcano.

One of the most important conservation sites in the world, Virunga Park covers 7,800 square kilometres (3,000 miles) along a swathe of eastern DR Congo abutting the border with Uganda and Rwanda.

"I paid tribute to the DRC authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their tireless help during this awful case", said the statement.

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