By George Mpofu
VENTURES AFRICA – The governments of seven African countries are supporting elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade, a new joint report by conservation group, Born Free USA, and C4ADS has revealed.
The report showed that some senior government officials in DR Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Gabon and Mozambique are condoning and arming criminals who kill elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns, respectively. “Organized crime, government corruption and militias are all linked to elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. Poachers in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sudan and Kenya move across borders with near impunity,” reads a part of the report.
In Sudan, government-allied militias fund their operations by poaching elephants outside North Sudan’s borders, while in the Democratic Republic of Congo, state security forces provide rebels with weapons and support in exchange for ivory. “It’s not just enough to say it’s criminal syndicates, nefarious profiteers. We wanted to know who is really behind it so that we can try and get governments around the world to do more to crackdown,” said Born Free USA CEO Adam Roberts. Roberts added that Born Free needed some help in gathering that kind of information.