Cameroon shows initiative as poaching gangs approach: WWF Director General
Statement by Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International, regarding Cameroon’s decision to send 600 soldiers to deter incursions from large and organized poaching groups recently detected moving across the Central African Republic from the direction of Sudan.
“WWF would like to congratulate the President of Cameroon for the decision to deploy Special Forces to protect vulnerable areas, people and elephants from heavily armed foreign poaching gangs”
“Sending 600 soldiers to support the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in its efforts against transnational wildlife crimes is a bold and courageous move, and sets a new standard for other governments in the front line of deterring wildlife poaching and trafficking.
“There is some evidence to indicate that what is being attempted is a repeat of the mass raid in early 2012, which saw more than 300 elephants killed in the Bouba N’Djida National Park in northern Cameroon.”
“A military response was required at that time to confront poachers with military weapons and drive them from Cameroon. That incident underlines the fact that poaching and illegal wildlife trade is now an issue of national security, with serious consequences for a country’s economic and social prospects.”
“Let us hope that Cameroon’s emphatic response to this latest threat will be enough to dissuade poaching gangs from crossing into their territory.”
Director General, WWF International
WWF is campaigning for greater protection of threatened species such as rhinos, tigers and elephants. In order to save endangered animals, source, transit and demand countries must all improve law enforcement, customs controls and judicial systems. WWF is also urging governments in consumer countries to undertake demand reduction efforts to curb the use of endangered species products.