By Laura-Marie Rothe/im[sic\
The demand for ivory has increased worldwide. Rebel groups in central Africa have joined the trade.They are killing elephants and sell their tusks to get money for better weapons.
“Poaching and the potential connections to other criminal and terrorist activities are a serious threat to peace and security in Central Africa," says UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The UN chief noted that the poachers are using stronger and better weapons to kill elephants.
Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel outfit known by its acronym, LRA, is one of those groups that have used the yields from illegal ivory trade to finance their activities.
According to UN figures, the LRA has killed more than 100,000 people in Central Africa over the past 25 years. The fighters also abducted between 60,000-100,000 children in order to recruit them as child soldiers.
It is considered as one of the most brutal rebel groups in the world. Its leader, Joseph Kony, is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The LRA is still active in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in South Sudan and in the Central African Republic.
According to analysts, the group previously received its funds from the government of Sudan - but that support has diminished because of international pressure. In search of new capital sources, the group has turned to poaching. More....