Elephant poaching in Chad: end of hostilities?


ECCAS member States have not remained indifferent to the threat facing the savannah elephant population within their territories. In 2012, elephants were mass slaughtered in northern Cameroon, north eastern CAR and Southern Chad, by heavily armed poachers from Sudan. Hundreds of elephants have been killed for their ivory to meet soaring demand from the Asian market. In the face of this threat, the Ministers of ECCAS met in February 2012 to develop and adopt an Extreme Emergency Anti Poaching (PEXULAB) plan for its savannah zone and forest zone.


Four months after PEXULAB was adopted, its implementation has yielded positive results. In fact, the Chadian Government through its Minister of Environment, Mahamat Halikimi last week announced the arraignment of Hassan Idriss, the alleged leader of a poaching gang. At the time of his arrest, he was carrying 124 elephant tusks in his game bag. Since 2011 he had been operating with his group in the trans-border region of Chad, Cameroon and CAR. They are charged with the killing of nearly 200 elephants in 2011, at least 189 elephants in August 2012 and are alleged to have killed five park guards in Cameroon.


This heroic act of the Chadian authorities, which will certainly curb poaching activities in the savannah zone of ECCAS is a welcome development. However much remains to be done to dismantle the core components of the ivory trafficking network, which include some corrupt government officials, if there will be hope for a better future for the survival of elephants in the savannah and forest zones of ECCAS.


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