Prince Harry-Linked Conservation Charity Accused of Operating Armed Militia Involved in Atrocities Against Indigenous People

Prince Harry-Linked Charity Faces Accusations of Atrocities in African Rainforests

Serious allegations have emerged against African Parks, a leading conservation charity with ties to Prince Harry, suggesting the organization operates an armed militia accused of committing heinous acts against indigenous people in the Republic of the Congo.

The Mail on Sunday’s investigation reveals shocking evidence of intimidation, beatings, rape, and torture conducted by guards managed and paid by the charity.

Human Rights Abuses Uncovered in the Rainforests

The investigation uncovered first-hand testimonies detailing atrocities inflicted on the Baka, an indigenous people known as pygmies, to prevent them from entering forests they have relied upon for centuries.

Victims reported incidents of forced submersion, whippings, and brutal attacks by guards.

A Baka man claims, ‘Some guards are bad people, and their activities should be stopped. What they are doing is cruel and inhumane.’

Tragic Outcomes and Systemic Abuses

Reports include a Baka man dying after being beaten and jailed without receiving medical treatment, a woman being raped while clinging to her newborn baby, and a teenage boy alleging he was groomed for paid sex by a guard.

Claims also suggest medical staff faced intimidation to cover up abuse.

The revelations underscore the destruction of traditional culture and the impoverishment of indigenous communities.

Prince Harry’s Association with African Parks

African Parks, supported by Prince Harry, manages extensive forested areas and national parks across 12 African countries in partnership with governments.

Prince Harry served as the charity’s president for six years before joining its governing board of directors last year.

The charity, backed by a consortium linked to Chelsea Football Club’s ownership, aims to save wildlife by collaborating with local communities.

Prince Harry Responds to Allegations

Upon learning of the serious allegations, a spokesman for Prince Harry’s foundation, Archewell, stated, ‘When the Duke became aware of these serious allegations, he immediately escalated them to the CEO and chairman of the board of African Parks, the appropriate people to handle next steps.’

Prince Harry, known for his global mission as a social justice campaigner, faces calls to use his influence to address the alleged abuses.

Warnings and Previous Concerns

Survival International, a campaign group advocating for indigenous people’s rights, had previously warned Prince Harry about ‘appalling human rights abuses’ committed by African Parks rangers in a letter last May.

The group called on Prince Harry to use his influence to prevent such abuses. African Parks CEO Peter Fearnhead responded by asserting the charity’s ‘zero-tolerance policy for any form of abuse.’

Indigenous Communities Caught in Conservation Battle

The revelations underscore broader tensions between indigenous groups, who have cared for forests for millennia, and armed militias run by conservation organizations combating threats from miners, poachers, and loggers.

Conservation areas, as highlighted by Survival International, become battlegrounds, causing harm to the very people who have safeguarded these forests.

African Parks’ Response and Ongoing Review

African Parks issued a statement in response to The Mail on Sunday’s investigation, affirming a ‘zero-tolerance policy for any form of abuse’ and a commitment to upholding the rights of local and indigenous people.

The charity highlighted its collaboration with the Congolese government and indigenous communities and expressed a dedication to thoroughly investigating human rights abuse allegations, including those mentioned in the article.

Public Outcry and the Future of Conservation Efforts

As public outcry intensifies, questions arise about the future of conservation efforts and the ethical considerations of organizations such as African Parks.

Calls for support of indigenous peoples and a reevaluation of conservation practices gain momentum, challenging the narrative around saving nature at the expense of human rights.

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