20.1.05

Congo Police, Army Accused of Elephant Poaching

January 20, 2005 KINSHASA — Congo's police and fractious army have been accused of involvement in rampant elephant poaching that threatens to wipe them out from a world heritage site in the east of the former Zaire, a new study has warned.

The investigation by the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature estimates 17 tonnes of elephant ivory was smuggled out of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR) in the volatile Ituri district during the last six months of 2004 alone...

Trade in ivory is outlawed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). South Africa, Botswana and Namibia were granted permission in 2002 for one-off sales of stockpiled ivory, which have yet to go ahead, but Namibia failed in its bid for an annual export quota of 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) at a CITES meeting in Bangkok in October.

Read the whole story on ENN
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