By Walter Wilson Nana
Wildlife authorities in Cameroon arrested 20 suspects and confiscated 45 guns during a 10-day anti-poaching operation that targeted elephant poachers in, Yokadouma the southeast of the country.
Thirty-nine forest rangers, backed by 25 soldiers of the country’s rapid intervention battalion, commonly known by its French acronym as BIR, carried out the operation that lasted from April 15 to 26, 2013.
WWF’s Communications Officer at the Njengi Project in Yokadouma told this reporter authorities transferred two suspects caught with an AK47 war gun to Bertoua, chief town of the east region of Cameroon, to stand trial in a military tribunal. The local justice department formally charged 18 other suspects, seven of whom were remanded to prison custody while 11 were released on bail. Rangers also seized two ivory tusks, gorilla, chimp and elephant meat, including a wide variety of other wildlife species during the operation.
Two suspects were wounded during clashes with eco-guards in separate incidents. A suspect, who threatened to fire at rangers, was shot in the leg, while another, who attempted to harm an eco-guard with a machete, was slightly wounded in the left arm. A third suspect fled after firing at one of the patrol vehicles inside a logging concession, shattering the back screen but injuring none. More....