Cameroon: An Eco-Guard Beheaded by Poachers (Cameroon)


Cameroon Link

Date Published

Mathieu Gameying was Killed during a Patrol.

Mathieu Gameying, Assistant Technical Officer for Water and Forest Service of the National Park of Faro, died on Friday, April 1, 2016, at about 3:00 a.m. in Laro, a town in the district of Beka. According to information gathered from a good source, along with his ecoguard comrades, they went out that night for a routine patrol. In it, they fell on heavily armed poachers.

A gunfight ensued immediately. Mathieu Gameying took a bullet to the leg level. All response attempts would be futile. Facing the firepower of the poachers, the ecoguards folded, leaving their comrade to the enemy. His body would later be found beheaded. “We work with the Mas 36, and we must confront poachers who have hyper-sophisticated weapons. How can you leave yourself there with such a weapon and only about ten ammunitions at your disposal? Every day, our lives are in danger. This is a valiant citizen who lost his life simply because he did not have the means available to do his job. We are undergoing military training with rigour, but when we are sent out on the ground, we do not have any serious equipment at our disposal, including helmets, protective vests, or suitable weapons. In return, what should we expect?” wondered an ecoguard.

Following the massacre of elephants that took place in the National Park of Bouba Yaser in 2012, the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife decided to take measures to improve the working conditions of the ecoguards and security in national parks of the north. That’s how elements of BIR were detached in Bouba Ndjida to reinforce security and lend mainforte to the ecoguards in the conflict against the poachers.

As a result of these serious incidents, the State had taken important steps. It thus practically doubled the number of ecoguards in Bouba Ndjida National Park. These were equipped with automatic weapons more suited to responding to poachers in the event of a confrontation. But the problem is that these measures apply really only in the park of Bouba Ndjida. “The other
parks continue to function under very difficult conditions,” affirms a source with the regional delegation of the Ministry for the Forests and Fauna in Garoua. Created in 1980, the National Park of Faro covers a surface of 3300 km² and is located in the department of Faro, on the border with Nigeria. In addition to the under-equipped staff of the park, it is also understaffed, which is deplorable. The park currently has less than thirty ecoguards and it takes at least eighty to effectively cover the area.