The Duke of Cambridge has made a private donation to the Thin Green Line Foundation’s Fallen Ranger Fund in honour of six Rangers killed during an ambush in the Virunga National Park last month.
Announcing the news on Twitter, the Foundation wrote: “We are very grateful to The Duke of Cambridge for his recent support…for the families impacted by the devastating loss of six Rangers at Virunga National Park in January.”
The amount of William’s donation has not been revealed.
On 10 January this year, six Park Rangers were attacked by armed assailants following an ambush near the park’s border. According to the Park’s official website, preliminary investigations “indicate that the Rangers were taken by surprise and had no opportunity to defend themselves” and that the local Mai-Mai groups are responsible for the deaths.
One Park Ranger was seriously injured in the attack and has been treated for his injuries at a hospital in Goma.
The six Rangers who were killed in the attack are Burhani Abdou Surumwe, Kamate Mundunaenda Alexis, Maneno Kataghalirwa Reagan, Kibanja Bashekere Eric, Paluku Budoyi Innocent, Nzabonimpa Ntamakiriro Prince.
The Thin Green Line Foundation supports the families of Rangers who die in the line of duty—many of them murdered by commercial poachers. According to the Foundation, around 1,000 Rangers have died in the past 10 years. They provide support to families in the form of providing basic human needs, like water, food, shelter and security; paying school fees for children; and helping the families to set up small business ventures to support themselves.
The Virunga National Park is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and borders the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. It was opened in 1925 and is one of the oldest national parks in Africa. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.