By Apolinari Tario
Addressing the parliament of Tanzania Thursday (yesterday) evening, Tanzanian President Mr. Jakaya Kikwete had expressed his concern over poaching of elephants and rhinos in this African country, warning the poachers of a tough action.
Mr. Kikwete said poaching of elephants and rhinos in Tanzania and Africa had increased to an alarming rate, threatening extinction of those big mammals from the face of this continent.
Between September and early this month, Mr. Kikwete had ordered security operatives including the armed forced to conduct anti-poaching operation in all areas of Tanzania suspected to harbor poachers and stakeholders in bloody ivory trade.
Dubbed “Operation Terminate", the militarized exercise had successfully managed to apprehend dozens of poachers and tons of elephant tusks, and recently, Chinese nationals were arrested on possession of elephant tusks.
Through the militarized anti-poaching operation crackdown, three Chinese nationals were arrested few days ago in Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam in possession of 706 jumbo tusks. Another consignment of 89 tusks was intercepted in Mtwara area, about 450 kilometers south of Dar es Salaam.
But parliament last week suspended the anti-poaching operation after claims from its members over torture and killings of suspected poachers.
Responding to claims, president Kikwete defended the anti-poaching operation, saying it aimed at protecting elephants, rhinos and other hunted wildlife in Tanzania and Africa from total extinction. More....