By Kevin Heath
A gang of 300 Sudanese elephant poachers have wrecked havoc across west African elephant populations. Now the affected African states are fighting back and have agreed to the formation of a specialist 1,000 strong anti-poaching unit that will cost USD 2.3 million.
The 15 west African countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Yaounde, Cameroon, between March 21 and 23 to discuss a range of issues that affect the region. How to combat the poaching gangs from Sudan was on the agenda.
The new plan will see a new military force of 1,000 soldiers made available for deployment to areas that the poachers are active in.
The 15 countries that make up the ECOWAS commission are:
- Burkina Faso
- Cabo Verde
- Cote D’Ivoire
- Guinee Bissau
- Sierra Leone
- Togolese Republic