Posts Tagged ‘poaching’

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UN suspects Mali terrorists are poaching wildlife

October 27, 2015

Slaughtering elephants and selling their ivory?  Using the profits to buy weapons?  The worrisome thing about this report is that it comes from Mali, not from East Africa where such reports are more commonplace.  It suggests that the tactic of poaching to fund jihad is spreading to northwestern Africa.  From Vice News on Oct. 20 (h/t El Grillo):

Terrorist Groups Are Poaching Elephants In Northern Mali, Warns UN

Terrorist groups in northern Mali are among those poaching the region’s shrinking herd of desert elephants, according to the United Nations, part of a global wildlife trafficking trade that helps fund armed groups and fuel conflict.

“We strongly suspect there is a link between the poachers and the armed terrorists, who could be relying on the illegal ivory trade to finance some of their activities,” said Sophie Raviers, the UN’s environment representative in Mali…

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Sudanese families finance poaching syndicates

July 4, 2014

Families from Darfur are behind the financing of company-sized cavalry elements that are poaching elephants in central Africa according to an International Crisis Group report. The elephant ivory and rhino horn are purchased mostly by the Chinese, but in some cases by the Lebanese. Previous reporting has indicated that the perpetrators of genocide in Darfur include state-backed Islamist militiamen who profit from the illegal ivory trade.

And Sudan has the nerve to question why they are still listed as a state sponsor of terrorism?

From Radio Tamajuz (h/t @APIGSA):

Sudan key route for ivory from Central Africa: report

KHARTOUM (19 Jun.)

Darfur, the southwestern region of Sudan, has become a key route for smuggling of ivory from the Central African Republic to international black markets. Not only the traders but also many of the hunters themselves are reported to be Sudanese.

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a research organization, published a new report on the crisis in Central Africa, in which it discussed the issue of smuggling of ivory and diamonds to Sudan.

Crisis Group says that foreign poachers “now traverse the whole country due to the disappearance of elephants and rhinos in the east.” Typically the foreign poachers are aided by local networks. They leave behind the meat while exporting the tusks.

Citing interviews with the wildlife ministry and the former director of the Sangha Nature Reserve, ICG stated, “Much of the ivory is taken through the northeast of the country before passing to Sudan, while a more insignificant amount is taken to Bangui where it is bought by local traders (Chinese, Lebanese) or to Cameroon in markets in Libongo and Yokadouma.”

Last year in May the World Wildlife Fund reported that horse-mounted Sudanese ivory poachers killed at least 26 elephants in the Dzanga Bai national park. According to Crisis Group, these poachers were bearing an order signed by a government official in Bangui in order to facilitate their expedition.

The ICG report explains, “The poachers form groups of 20 to 80 people and practice militarized poaching in the east of Central Africa. According to corroborating sources, these groups are armed with AK-47s, equipped with satellite phones and financed by certain Sudanese families living in the Nyala area in South Darfur.”

The poachers are selling ivory in the Sudanese cities Buram, Tulus and Um Dafog, located not far from the borders with Central Africa and South Sudan. From these towns it is sent to Nyala and then exported mainly to Asia.

Officials as far as Cameroon have implicated Sudanese poachers in killings of elephants. In early 2012 officials and wildlife organizations reported that nearly 300 elephants were slaughtered in a single dry season campaign…

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Ivory terror: elephant bloodbath funds jihadists

December 3, 2012

Sudanese Arab militiamen and Somali al-Shabaab terrorists are financing their jihad from poaching raids against the endangered wildlife of their mostly Christian neighbors.

The janjaweed poachers use the profits from massacring the African elephant to continue their massacres against black Africans in Darfur.  The common link is their utter disregard for life and for the rule of law.

From the Africa Review on Nov. 17:

Cameroon deploys crack unit to foil Sudanese poachers

Cameroon’s Special Forces have been deployed to foil an imminent raid by Sudanese poachers who for eight weeks earlier this year slaughtered half the population of elephants for their ivory at one of the country’s wildlife reserves.

The poachers have been attempting to take park guards in northern Cameroon by surprise by exploiting greater ground cover that has sprouted in the rainy season, according to international conservation body World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which said it had been informed by high ranking officials of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) on Friday.

“This is the same group of poachers that in early 2012 travelled more than 1,000km on horseback from northern Sudan across the Central African Republic and Chad to kill over 300 elephants in the Bouba N’Djida National Park in northern Cameroon,” WWF said.

The heavily armed and well coordinated poachers, who had told local villagers of their plans to kill as many elephants as possible, claimed they had killed as much as 650 out of some 1,000 that roamed the park.

The elephant population in Cameroon and in central Africa is estimated to have been halved, mainly by poachers, between 1995 and 2007 with the number of elephants killed still on the rise…

The article does not precisely identify whom the Sudanese poachers are or for what they will use the ivory profits.  But a story from the New York Times in September explained that Sudan’s janjaweed, the Arab supremacists who bear responsibility for the genocide against black Africans in Darfur, are offenders in the illegal ivory trade:

Several Sudanese ivory traders and Western officials said that the infamous janjaweed militias of Darfur were also major poachers. Large groups of janjaweed — the word means horseback raider — were blamed for killing thousands of civilians in the early 2000s, when Darfur erupted in ethnic conflict. International law enforcement officials say that horseback raiders from Darfur wiped out thousands of elephants in central Africa in the 1980s. Now they suspect that hundreds of janjaweed militiamen rode more than 600 miles from Sudan and were the ones who slaughtered at least 300 elephants in Bouba Ndjida National Park in Cameroon this past January, one of the worst episodes of elephant slaughter recently discovered.

In 2010, Ugandan soldiers, searching for Mr. Kony in the forests of the Central African Republic, ran into a janjaweed ivory caravan. “These guys had 400 men, pack mules, a major camp, lots of weapons,” a Western official said. A battle erupted and more than 10 Ugandans were killed.

“It just shows you the power of poaching, how much money you can make stacking up the game,” the official said.

How much and for what purpose?  Der Spiegel reports that janjaweed poachers use the proceeds for arms:  “The millions of dollars their poaching raid must have brought in will allow them to replenish their weapons stores.”

Although no Somalis were mentioned in the latest Cameroon hunt, the New York Times also identified al-Shabaab as an ivory poaching participant:

Perhaps no country in Africa is as lawless as Somalia, which has languished for more than 20 years without a functioning central government, spawning Islamist militants, gunrunners, human traffickers and modern-day pirates. Ivory has entered this illicit mix.

Several Somali elders said that the Shabab, the militant Islamist group that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, recently began training fighters to infiltrate neighboring Kenya and kill elephants for ivory to raise money.

One former Shabab associate said that the Shabab were promising to “facilitate the marketing” of ivory and have encouraged villagers along the Kenya-Somalia border to bring them tusks, which are then shipped out through the port of Kismayo, a notorious smuggling hub and the last major town the Shabab still control.

“The business is a risk,” said Hassan Majengo, a Kismayo resident with knowledge of the ivory trade, “but it has an exceptional profit.”

Read more details of al-Shabaab’s involvement in the ivory trade here.

Sadly, the Islamist culture and tradition of raiding, pillaging, plundering and exploitation of natural resources and property is alive and well.