On a recent trip to DR Congo in August, John Lukas, OCP President, met with the chief warden Lucien Lokomu who shared the results of activities in which the rangers were involved during the past few months. A key provider of equipment and supplies to the notorious deceased poacher Morgan was arrested, along with Morgan’s brother. The only road through the Okapi Wildlife Reserve has been repaired making it possible to travel through the Reserve in half a day, greatly reducing the need for vehicles to spend the night inside the Reserve boundaries. This permits ICCN to close the road at night in an effort to limit the movement of those that might be involved in illegal activities. Committed and focused efforts involving Congolese military and the ICCN rangers in pursuit of the remnants of Morgan’s group has resulted in the removal of organized rogue militia groups from the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.
After the conclusion of a very effective re-training course provided by former French military officer, Frank Cunniet, 22 ICCN rangers returned to their respective guard posts around the Reserve, and are using their newly acquired skills to protect the wildlife as they go on patrols deep into the forest. Two more groups, each consisting of 20 to 25 rangers, are scheduled to participate in these training sessions before the end of the year.