By Peti Siyame
Management of Katavi National Park in the newly formed Katavi Region affirms that over seventy per cent of poaching activities were carried out by Burundian refugees who allegedly used modern military weapons to kill the wild animals and made away with carcasses and national trophies.
In charge of security at Katavi National Park, Mr Davis Mushi, told reporters in Mpanda Township recently that some Burundian refugees at Mishamo and Katumba refugee camps in Mpanda district were actively trespassing into the national park and subsequently illegally killing wild animals including huge herds of buffalo, zebras, impalas, elephants and waterbucks and made away with their carcasses as well as tusks.
He further said that so far many suspects most of whom were identified as Burundian refugees have been arrested and several modern military weapons have been seized during special operations in collaboration with other state organs and cooperation accorded by residents of the villages surrounding the National Park.
“The poaching is still going on here. there is petty poaching carried out by people surrounding the park who kill for meat for domestic consumption only. But there is large scale business oriented poaching mostly carried out by Burundian refugees, and this is the most dangerous poaching because, as you all know, we have big refugee camps,'' added Mr Mushi.
Katavi National Park, Tanzania’s third largest national park (4471 km²), is the heart of one of the biggest and richest wildlife areas in the country and is located along the rift escarpment in western Tanzania. More....