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剛果戰場 人與猩猩身陷危機

2008年11月10日
作者:西胡撒(Henry Cirhuza,大猩猩組織專案經理);潘忠廷編譯;莫聞審校

聯合國兒童基金會分發淨水給因戰爭流離失所的戈馬民眾(攝影:Julien Harneis;圖片來源UNICEF)編按: 隨剛果共和國政府與剛果叛軍在東剛果的戰況越盛,倫敦「大猩猩組織」(Gorilla Organization)駐於戈馬市(Goma)以及周邊的成員都相當憂心自己以及380隻於維拉岡國家公園(Virunga National Park)境內瀕臨絕種的山地大猩猩性命安全。本文作者西胡撒(Henry Cirhuza),正是剛果「大猩猩組織」計畫管理者。

我現在正自剛果共和國東部的戈馬市打字給你,這裡又陷入戰亂了,戰爭威脅我們居住的城市,也危害了我們保育世界僅存的猩猩所做的努力。

我以身為剛果人為榮,也以我的國家為榮,但看見國家捲入戰爭,所做的努力難以如願以嘗,想到即令人椎心。

戈馬市的狀況自11月4日晚上起急轉直下。剛果國民兵與反叛軍自通往城市北側奇布巴(Kibumba)的路上一路交戰,到了戈馬市後,便開始對四處開火。

即使看來已經停火,我們還是繼續躲在自己的房子裡。因為實在太害怕也只能待在房子裡,免得砲火隨時展開,我們藉由收音機得知訊息。

但直到現在我們還是不願離開戈馬市,因為2002尼拉貢戈火山(Nyirangogo volcano)噴發時戈馬市的殘破仍鮮明的刻印在腦海。那次之後,我們成了難民,飽受強盜、恐嚇、飢餓與寒冷威脅,害怕這次離開後又會遇到相同情形。但,當食物短缺時,我終於明白,此非久留之地。

食物短缺,軍人們把城市變成地獄般的生活,人們只好逃往唯一的地方──大猩猩的森林。他們當然會去找食物,但我害怕的是國家公園找不到足夠的食物可吃,也擔不起數千人、數百人的食量,或許反而無意地造成大猩猩的棲地破壞。

我們只能期望那些猩猩夠聰明,能移向更深的山林,或者是跨越邊境到盧安達。但一旦森林成為難民與軍人的處所,那麼根本沒地方可以躲藏。

維龍加國家公園(Virunga National Park)內的瀕危山地大猩猩與小猩猩(攝影:Ben Haylock)假使通往盧安達的邊境能夠安全些,我們的伙伴將可以替我們找到食物、水、庇護所,也可以繼續保育大猩猩的工作。「大猩猩組織」有效地幫助國家公園管理員減輕保護大猩猩的壓力,但也急需要你的幫忙。

剛果陷入危機,情況危急。我們需要一筆資金,自東剛果撤離「大猩猩組織」的成員伙伴,幫他們度過遠離家園的日子,直到得以平安歸來為止。此外,只要確認該區是安全的,我們也會盡力運用資金與資源來保護棲地與大猩猩們。請幫助我們,給予任何你可以做的,刻不容緩。

編按: 國際組織「大猩猩組織」目的在拯救世界僅存的野生大猩猩,藉小額草根計畫提供資金,讓非洲當地伙伴自行運作,這些計畫處理了不利因素,大猩猩也因此能活的更長久。

Terror in DR Congo, Humans and Gorillas at Risk
By Henry Cirhuza, GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 4, 2008 (ENS) -

{Editor's note: As fighting between the Congolese national army and rebel soldiers intensifies in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the staff of the London-based Gorilla Organization in and around Goma city fear for their lives and the lives of the estimated 380 endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park. Henry Cirhuza is DR Congo program manager with The Gorilla Organization}

I am writing to you from Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where once again the horror of war threatens to destroy our country and the conservation efforts that we have established to protect some of the world's last remaining gorillas.

I am proud to be Congolese and I am proud of my country, but it breaks my heart to see war engulfing our lives and all that we have worked hard to achieve.

The situation in Goma deteriorated suddenly on Wednesday evening. Soldiers from the Congolese national army, who had been fighting rebels on the road to Kibumba, just north of the city, arrived in Goma and began firing bullets everywhere.

Despite the supposed cease-fire, we continued to hide in our homes. We were still too terrified to leave the house in case the gunfire started again, and we listened to the radio in the hope of gaining information.

Up until now we have been reluctant to leave Goma. For all of us the memories of the Nyirangogo volcano eruption, which destroyed much of Goma in 2002, is still fresh in our minds. During this time we became refugees and suffered theft, abuse, hunger and cold, and we are scared that if we leave we will be in this situation again. But as we run out of food I have realized that we can no longer stay here.

As food runs out and soldiers make life in the city hell, people are fleeing to the only place they can - to the gorillas' forest. They will be searching for food, but my fear is that they will not find enough food in the national park either - the forest cannot support hundreds of thousands of people - and instead they will unintentionally be destroying the gorilla habitat.

We can only hope that the gorillas will be wise enough to move deep into the forest, or maybe cross the border in to Rwanda. Having said that, as the forest becomes populated with refugees and soldiers there will be little place for them to hide.

If we can make it safely over the border to Rwanda, our colleagues there will be able to help us find food, water and shelter and we will be able to get back to our work of saving the gorillas. The Gorilla Organization is perfectly placed to help ease the pressure on the national park and support the rangers in protecting the gorillas. But for this we need your help.

Congo is in crisis. This is an emergency situation. We need funds to evacuate the Gorilla Organization's staff and partners from eastern DR Congo and to help them survive away from home until it is safe for them to return. And we need funds to ensure that as soon as the area is safe we have the resources in place to protect the gorillas and their habitat as well as we possibly can. Please help us and give whatever you can today.

{Editor's note: The Gorilla Organization works internationally to save the world's last remaining gorillas in the wild, by funding small grass-roots projects, run by local African partners, that tackle threats to the gorilla's long term survival.}