Friday, December 28, 2012

TANZANIA WECOMES CALL BY UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR LRA INVESTIGATION ON IVORY POACHING

Tanzania would like to join the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Mr. John E. Scanlon in welcoming the call by the Security Council of the United Nations for an investigation into the alleged involvement of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the poaching of African elephants and smuggling of their ivory.
The call made by the UN Security Council underpins the apprehension about the links between illicit wildlife poaching and trafficking with regional insecurity in Africa.
In a statement issued last week, the Security Council called on the United Nations and African Union to jointly investigate the Lord’s Resistance Army logistical networks and possible sources of illicit financing, including alleged involvement in elephant poaching and related illicit smuggling. The LRA has turned to ivory trafficking and also extended its area of operations, a UN Security Council meeting was told Tuesday.

African States are currently experiencing a serious increase in the illegal killing of African elephants and rhinos and the related illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn.
As reiterated by CITES, the illegal killings of large number of elephants for their ivory are increasingly involving organized crime and in some cases well-armed militias. The poached ivory in the Great Lakes Region and Central Africa is believed to be exchanged against money, weapons and ammunition to support conflicts in neighboring countries, according to CITES.

Tanzania is ready to work with the UN to support efforts to investigate the involvement of rebel militias in wildlife poaching. Tanzania believes that, the envisaged investigation will identify the barons of elephant tusks trade and their modus operandi. This will augur well with Tanzania’s efforts in curbing poaching in our territory.
Meanwhile, Tanzania is discussing with international stakeholders so that Dar es Salaam can host an international conference on poaching in 2013. The meeting will convene all stakeholders in Africa who are affected by the unprecedented wave of poaching for ivory and rhino horns in order to come up with the right solution.

Khamis S. Kagasheki
MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND TOURISM
27th Decenber 2012

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