Congo oh Congo


(Posted 01st July 2018)

News from Kinshasa have raised the heat among the global conservation fraternity, when it became known yesterday that the illegitimate Kabila regime in Congo – which according to political pundits is now looking at their own endgame – has opened up large tracts of national park land for oil exploration and drilling.

Both the UNESCO World Heritage Site Virunga National Park and the Salonga National park in the south of the country are said to be affected.
Speculation has been growing over the past weeks, since the Virunga National Park was closed following some targeted violence against tourists which involved the shooting or a ranger and the temporary abduction of two British tourists, that this may have been perpetrated by militias loyal to the Kinshasa regime to accomplish exactly that, the closure of the park to allow oil companies to move in largely hidden from the eyes of the world.
(This article contains multiple links to previous reports about this and related issues)

The matter, reported about here several times over the past years, is now seemingly coming to a head, and while the regime – not a government by any civilized standards – is busy defending their authority and rights, is it all but clear to global conservation observers, that this is one last chance to line their pockets before the likely elections in December this year will sweep them out of office.

Virunga seems to be suffering from the brunt of this rapist onslaught with over 20 percent of the park’s area, all of it named as a global biodiversity hotspot and home to the endangered mountain gorillas, being earmarked for oil exploration. Virunga is the oldest national park in the country from which prior to independence even greedy colonialists stayed away, awed by its natural beauty and the enormous riches in flora and fauna.

Salonga National Park covers over 33.000 square kilometres mostly of the upper Congo basin’s rainforest and similar to the Virunga parks is home to a significant number of game, including endangered species like dwarf chimpanzees, forest elephants and bonobos.

It is time that the international community stands up to such dictators and their regime hoodlums and goons and return the country to the path of democracy under which international conventions like the UNESCO WHS will be respected and a global heritage be preserved instead of using it to line individual pockets with ill gotten gains.

Any company taking up a concession in these areas must be named, shamed and investigated in their own home countries over how they obtained these concessions, with key shareholders, CEO’s, Board Chairs and Board members outed and decampaigned using all legal means available in their respective countries and jurisdictions.

Then and only then can sanity be restored when the regime in Kinshasa sees their money supply dry up during their last months in office before new elections will hopefully sweep them all aside and then have them investigated for what they did while clinging on to power.