28 December 2017

Cameroon: Fight Against Poaching - Government Steps Up Efforts

Some 216 elephant tusks and 81 elephant tails were seized in Djoum, barely one month after another consignment of 160 tusks was caught in Douala.

In the face of increasing organised poaching across the national territory and the central African subregion, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife has in recent times been putting up a strong and consistent riposte. The antipoaching efforts, which are continuously beefed up, have been paying off, thwarting the threats to wildlife and biodiversity. On Tuesday December 12, 2017, eco-guards attached to the south branch of the Dja Wildlife Reserve intercepted some ivory traffickers in Djoum. The operation led to the seizure of 216 elephant tusks and 81 elephant tails. One of the traffickers was also arrested and is presently in the custody of security officials. It is suspected that about 108 elephants must have been killed to obtain the stock, but wildlife authorities are yet to ascertain the origin of the booty. "Investigations have been opened to know where the elephant products are coming from," the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Ngole Philip Ngwese told Cameroon Tribune. The Minister said concrete proposals will be made to hierarchy as to what will be done to the seized stock, suggesting that it is possible the tusks and tails will be incinerated. The Djoum seizure is coming barely one month after operatives of the Police Mobile Intervention Unit seized another consignment of 160 elephant tusks. Minister Ngole Philip Ngwese has said "in cooperation with local, bilateral and multilateral partners, government will sustain the fight against crossborder criminality, create more awareness in countries that provide a market for ivory, cooperate with neighbouring countries through applicable bilateral and tri-national cooperation agreements, and source funding for the implementation of the emergency action plan to secure protected areas in Cameroon." The European Union has commended the efforts of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. During a recent courtesy visit to the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Cameroon, Hans-Peter Schadek said he noted with satisfaction the announcement of the seizure of 216 elephant tusks and 81 elephant tails. The Ambassador said the European Union will constantly support the fight against poaching and ivory trafficking.

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