This past Thursday, after nearly three and a half months of calm between M23 rebels and FARDC Congolese military, fighting renewed with a vengeance both north and south of the park headquarters, trapping the staff, rangers, and ranger families as the road south to Goma closed.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, rumors and reports circulated that two other rebel groups, Mai Mai and FDLR, had joined in the fighting to the north causing serious concern for the safety of everyone at Rumangabo.
Yesterday and today, M23 appears to have gained ground and reports indicate that they have pushed the FARDC back both north and south and have now made it as far as the outskirts of Goma. Conflicting reports are coming from people on the ground in Goma right now and conditions are changing by the minute. We will let you know as this situation evolves.
The good news so far is that all of our Virunga staff and rangers are safe. We do not know the casualties yet among the population.
Here is a link to a recent Reuters article: