The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: ?No Elephant Tusks Smuggled From Rwanda?

Not a single bit of the two tonnes of ivory, the biggest haul on record reportedly seized by police in Kenya, could have come from Rwanda, an official has said.

Media reports on Tuesday indicated that some 638 pieces of ivory, worth about $1.2m (Rwf726m), were impounded at the Kenyan port of Mombasa. The consignment was intercepted at a container verification area by Kenya Revenue Authority officials.

The Kenya Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Coast region, Simon Gitau, was quoted saying, "These are roughly 250 elephants that have been killed and we have noted that the pieces may have come from other countries because the sacks have labels of Tanzania and Rwanda."

But Rica Rwigamba, the head of tourism and conservation at the Rwanda Development Board, yesterday, rejected the claims that some of the ivory could have come from Rwanda.

"We haven't had issues of that nature. We have elephants in Akagera, but we have been monitoring the park," she said.

Rwanda has about 100 elephants.

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