DR Congo | Report claims park guards killed Indigenous villagers in NP; NGO, government deny it
A new investigative report details human rights abuses committed against Indigenous Batwa people between 2019 and 2021 in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBPN) located in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The report, published by the NGO Minority Rights Group on Wednesday, says 20 Batwa were killed, 15 Batwa women were raped, and 2 children were burnt alive by the park’s guards.
MRG’s investigators, led by journalist Robert Flummerfelt, spent nine months between October 2020 and December 2021 interviewing eyewitnesses to violence, family members of those reported killed, and Batwa people detained in South Kivu province. They also spoke with soldiers and park guards who described participating in large-scale acts of violence. MRG finds that the violence was carried out to expel the Batwa population from their ancestral lands inside the protected area.