The Gabon National Agency for National Parks and judicial authorities have recorded significant success in their crusade against poaching in Minkébé National Park.
The National Parks and the Minkébé Provincial police have concluded a week of intense activity marked by numerous arrests of poachers, and seizure of weapons and ivory stock. They have arrested a man who is believed to be the mastermind of one of the most active poaching networks.
Mr Athanase Edou Mebiane, a Sub-Prefect in the local government, was arrested and accused after authorities gathered damning evidence about the senior local government official's active involvement in illegal hunting and ivory trafficking.It is alleged that the Mebiane ran a team of elephant hunters in the Minkébé Forest. He provided them with guns, ammunition and money for supplies. Mebiame then shipped the ivory to neighbouring Cameroon himself.
The dismantling of this network is a warning to all criminal organizations involved in the ivory trade in Gabon. Mebiane, apparently having confessed, then sent a warning to other poachers, staing that "The determination of the State will not fade, so all poachers will be hunted and put out of harm's way, wherever they are and whoever they are."