Fight against poaching: four ivory traffickers arrested in Ouesso capital of the Sangha department (Republic of the Congo)


Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale/Brazzaville

Date Published

The arrest of these four smugglers, including three Congolese and one from the DRC, took place on Friday, September 30, 2016, with 35 kg of ivory, by the elements of the national police with the assistance of agents of water and forests as well as those of the project to support the implementation of the wildlife Act (PALF).

These wildlife offenders were arrested for killing of elephants and ivory marketing. They face sentences of more than five years’ imprisonment. We can estimate the damage to five elephants killed.

Republic of Congo elephants belongs to fully protected species as stipulated in Article 27 of the Congolese law on protection of wildlife “import; export; detention and transit on the national territory fully protected species; and their trophy is strictly prohibited; unless special dispensation of water and forest administration; for the purposes of scientific research.”

The agents of the national gendarmerie have welcomed this arrest and intend to refer the apprehended to the Ouesso prosecutor’s office as soon as possible so that they can answer for their actions. They also promised to multiply their strategies to effectively combat poaching. The plundering of wildlife in particular and of biodiversity in general by several corrupt citizens is frequent in the Republic of Congo. It is up to the judiciary to strictly repress these acts, in order to better deter and sensitize public opinion. Several studies converge to sound the death knell of elephants in the Republic of Congo. Indeed, the elephant is killed for its ivory every fifteen minutes in the world according to the International Fund for the Protection of Animals

Recall that the elephant enjoys absolute protection in the Republic of Congo after a 1991 decree and an act of the Sovereign National Conference. The forest Tri-National Dja-Odzala-Minkebe (TRIDOM) is particularly affected by large-scale poaching as shown by the results of the inventories of elephants and DNA analysis of ivory seized in Asia. The area is known as one of the hottest places in Africa for the ivory trade and elephant poaching. The Republic of Congo is one of the African leaders of the fight against wildlife crime as the example shows the organization in Brazzaville in April 2015, the International Conference on illegal logging, and illegal trade of flora and fauna in Africa. Better enforcement in Congo against ivory traffickers would send a strong message to confirm this commitment to protect its legacy.