By Cody Leblanc
A new report and video by the Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project, co-produced by Invisible Children and The Resolve, confirms that the Lord’s Resistance Army,or LRA, has turned to poaching elephants as a means to fund its atrocities.
The report, “Kony’s Ivory: How Elephant Poaching in Congo Helps Support the Lord’s Resistance Army,” is co-authored by Kasper Agger and Jonathan Hutson, based on their field research in Congo’s Garamba National Park. The multimedia report combines photographs, DigitalGlobe satellite imagery of an abandoned LRA camp in Congo’s Garamba National Park, and eyewitness reports to conclude that LRA fighters are trading ivory for arms, ammunition, and food.
The report links the group’s activities in Garamba to the growing regional ivory trade, which threatens Africa’s wild elephants with local extinction.
Co-author Kasper Agger, an Enough Project LRA field researcher based in Kampala, Uganda, states:
“After months of uncertainty, we now have proof that the LRA is killing elephants trading ivory for resources that help the group to survive. Greater investments are needed to combat the LRA across central Africa. Governments in Asia and elsewhere who fail to regulate the illegal ivory trade share responsibility for atrocities committed by the LRA and other armed groups engaged in poaching.”
International NGO African Parks employs approximately 130 rangers who are charged with patrolling Garamba. But they are outmanned and sometimes outgunned. More....