The United Nations Security Council today will be briefed on the severe and escalating threat to peace and security posed by Central Africa’s heavily-armed elephant poaching gangs.
In a report to the world’s highest international security body, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, “Poaching and its potential linkages to other criminal, even terrorist, activities constitute a grave menace to sustainable peace and security in Central Africa.”
The Secretary-General’s report highlights increasing links between elephant poaching, weapons proliferation and regional insecurity. “Illegal ivory trade may currently constitute an important source of funding for armed groups,” the report says. “Also of concern is that poachers are using more and more sophisticated and powerful weapons, some of which, it is believed, might be originating from the fallout in Libya.”
“The spread of cross-border poaching in Central Africa and its links to sophisticated armed groups is alarming. We have seen the devastating impact of this crime in too many countries,” said WWF International Director General Jim Leape. “I echo Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s deep concern for the security of the region.”
Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and on the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas was made available in advance of a dedicated Security Council session to be held at UN headquarters in New York this morning. More....