The EU representative in Congo, Marcel Van Opstal, on Wednesday called for the setting up of a court dedicated to check crimes against fauna and guarantee that the law is fully applied.
Speaking in Brazzaville at a conference on poaching in Congo, Van Opstal said the EU's proposal for a Prosecutor dedicated to crimes against fauna be examined since the trafficking of ivory was growing considerably.
According to him, the EU was concerned by the dysfunction it had observed in the treatment of offences regarding protected species.
“The EU calls for the strict application of the law (number 37-2008) on fauna and protected areas in Congo,” he said.
He said the EU had observed several cases where there was no investigation, and several others pertaining to declarations of witnesses and articles seized being rejected because of minor problems of procedures.
There were also cases where the sentences had been pronounced but were never carried out.
“While the authorities continue their efforts with a national policy of conservation and declare war against poaching, their actions are being undermined by individual behaviours,” the diplomat emphasised.
Van Opstal noted that despite national and international commitment, some agents of State conspired with the poachers and traffickers, thereby soiling Congo’s international image.
He said the illegal trade would be again discussed at a higher level from January 2014 with more partners.