Allegations Uncovered by The Mail on Sunday:
Prince Harry is under mounting pressure to sever ties with the conservation charity African Parks, following an investigation by The Mail on Sunday.
The probe has exposed shocking allegations of the charity’s armed militia engaging in human rights atrocities in African national parks.
Survival International Campaign:
Survival International, an organization advocating for indigenous peoples’ rights, has initiated a campaign urging Prince Harry and donors to cut links with African Parks.
The allegations include beatings, rape, and torture by guards operating in the national parks managed by the charity.
Prince Harry’s Connection to African Parks:
Prince Harry served as the president of African Parks for six years before being elevated to its governing board of directors last year.
The charity, managing national parks in 12 African countries through government partnerships, is now under scrutiny for disturbing intimidation against the Baka, an indigenous people.
Caroline Pearce’s Outcry:
Caroline Pearce, director of Survival International, strongly condemned the alleged abuses, stating that African Parks rangers brutalized the Baka people and enforced the theft of their rainforest.
Pearce called for Prince Harry to distance himself from the charity, accusing it of being complicit in ‘heinous abuse’ of innocent people.
Archewell Foundation’s Response:
A spokesperson for Prince Harry’s foundation, Archewell, acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations and stated that the Duke immediately escalated them to the CEO and chairman of the board of African Parks.
The foundation emphasized its commitment to addressing the issue through appropriate channels.
Allegations in Odzala-Kokoua National Park:
The alleged atrocities against the Baka took place in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo, managed by African Parks since 2010.
The charity, funded by the EU, the US government, and wealthy philanthropists, is now facing calls for accountability from various quarters.
Survival International’s Letter to Prince Harry:
Survival International had previously written a letter to Prince Harry last May, detailing ‘violent intimidation and torture.’
The organization claims that similar suffering is inflicted by other conservation bodies across Africa and Asia.
African Parks’ Response and Investigation:
African Parks responded by asserting a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy for any form of abuse and expressed its commitment to upholding the rights of local and indigenous people.
The charity launched an investigation through an external law firm after becoming aware of the allegations, stating that it takes such claims seriously.
Tensions Between Conservation Groups and Indigenous Peoples:
The Mail on Sunday investigation underscores the ongoing tensions between conservation groups and indigenous peoples in Africa and Asia.
While indigenous people care for forests, armed militia run by organizations are battling to protect the natural world from miners, poachers, and loggers.
The article includes testimonies from victims who were subjected to brutal treatment by African Parks guards during a foraging and hunting trip.
The victims were allegedly chained, beaten, and forced into a ‘baptism’ ritual involving whipping and submersion in a river, leaving lasting physical and emotional scars.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn