It is with deep sadness that we confirm the passing of Ranger Gnami Kouga Inocent in a confrontation that took place with armed individuals in the hunting zone of Batia, in Pendjari National Park.

During a ranger patrol to maintain a secure presence at the fence line in the hunting zone of Batia on 15 September 2023, Mr Inocent, along with fellow rangers, encountered unidentified armed individuals. The Benin armed forces (FAB) were present in the same area due to previous incidents in the Dassari zone and to ensure security to a village in the proximity.  A confrontation with the unidentified individuals ensued leading to the death of Mr Inocent and two military personnel, while one ranger and two other military personnel sustained injuries in the incident. Mr Inocent's body has been recovered and transferred to Tanguieta, and his family has been informed. 

In response to this tragic event, FAB reinforcements have been deployed on the ground to monitor the area closely, working in conjunction with local authorities to enhance safety for staff and the surrounding communities.

Mr Inocent, who joined Pendjari National Park in 2020, was a well-respected ranger known for his discipline, calm demeanour, and remarkable dedication to his duties. He leaves behind his wife and four children.

African Parks’ family support programme will be made available to Mr Inocent’s wife and children.  We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

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