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    Congo: Environmental NGOs Demand Protection of Rights

    Eight non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) say they are facing threats because of their opposition to the auction of oil blocks in the country.

    The NGOs, including Greenpeace, the Rainforest Foundation, and the Network for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of Forest Ecosystems (CREF), said in a statement that since the government launched a call for tenders for 30 oil and gas blocks, environmental defenders continue to face direct threats.

    The government of the Central African country in July 2022 launfched tenders for the exploitation of 27 oil and three gas blocks, promising to ensure that environmental standards are respected.

    However, Greenpeace, in a previous statement, denounced the oil and gas projects, warning of the catastrophic consequences they could have on local communities, biodiversity and the climate as they affect a complex rich in peat bogs.

    The organisation also warned of ‘the curse of oil’ and its attendant ‘violence and poverty’.

    “Since then, activists have received a barrage of threats on social networks, including accusations of treason… as well as death threats”, the group’s statement read.

    They called on the government to guarantee freedom of expression and that not a single one of those who stand up for the environment falls.

    Photo Source: USAID Biodiversity and Forestry

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