By Patience Akumu
The Lord's Resistance Army has resorted to elephant poaching in order to fund its activities, according to human rights organisations.
Human rights activists and conservationists warn that "poaching and its potential linkages to other criminal, even terrorist, activities constitute a grave menace to sustainable peace and security in Central Africa."
The LRA leader, Joseph Kony, tops the wanted list of the International Criminal Court. Together with three other leaders, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen, and Vincent Otti, Kony has been indicted for crimes against humanity. Atrocities in Northern Uganda including murders, mutilations, rape, abductions, lootings and displacement of communities have all been attributed to the LRA.
Kony, originally based in South Sudan from where his militants terrorised Northern Uganda, has not attacked Uganda since 2006. However, the group reportedly continues to attack and displace people in the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.
These places are also bases for their illegal trade and, human rights activists say, they are threatening the existence of elephants in Africa. The UN estimates that the elephant population in DRC and CRA could have already declined by 90 per cent.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned: "Wildlife crime has become a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, natural resources and cultural heritage of many countries. More....