Democratic Republic of Congo’s director of the nature conservation agency Cosma Wilungula has been suspended. The agency is responsible for protecting the country’s UNESCO-listed national parks. A senior government official confirmed the suspension of Wilungula, director of the Congo Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN).
The letter from the ministry, dated July 7, informs Wilungula of his suspension, with no further explanation.
The official said the move may be linked to the suspected embezzlement of tourism revenue from Rwanda relating to Virunga national park in eastern Congo and other concerns over embezzlement.
The letter named an acting director, but did not specify if Wilungula’s suspension was permanent. Virunga which is home to over half the global population of mountain gorillas is situated on the forest-covered volcanoes of central Africa. Covering 7,800 sq km, it is Africa’s oldest national park and largest tropical rainforest reserve.
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