News / Africa

Rebels Try to Rein in Poachers in CAR

Gabe Joselow
Sudanese poachers, taking advantage of the instability in the Central African Republic, have been hunting elephants in a protected area in the southwest of the country.  Rebel leaders in the capital have sent a message to the poachers demanding that they stop.
 
The World Wildlife Fund says 17 poachers entered Dzanga-Ndoki National Park on Monday, and have been heard firing shots from within the forest since then.
 
A resident in the nearby town of Bayanga confirmed the presence of poachers to VOA.
 
No elephants have been confirmed killed, but staff in the park have heard shots being fired from a clearing where forest elephants regularly gather, up to 200 at a time.
 
WWF says the poachers are linked to a splinter group of the Seleka rebel alliance that seized control of the capital Bangui in March.
 
The head of policy for WWF in the region, Bas Huijbregts, says on Wednesday rebel leadership in the capital sent a message to the poachers telling them to stop.
 
“Seleka sent apparently, via motorbike, a letter to their colleagues, the Sudanese guys, asking them to get out of the forest as soon as possible," said Huijbregts.
 
Huijbregts says the message was sent through another group of Seleka members who were escorting a delegation of Chinese diamond prospectors in the area.
 
Seleka has had trouble reining in its fighters, who are blamed for looting and assaults in the capital since the takeover.  WWF says rebel elements in Bayanga have raided their offices several times in the past two months.
 
But now the conservationists are hoping that a joint force made of Seleka rebels and agents from the ministry for wildlife will help to restore security around the park.
 
Huijbregts says Seleka must be on board with the operation as the dominant military force in the country.

“It has been judged safest to have a mission that is accompanied by Seleka, given the fact that they need to pass through several Seleka operated roadblocks going to Bayanga," he said.
 
Sudanese poachers have been responsible for the slaughter of elephants for their tusks in CAR and neighboring Cameroon in the past.
 
Conservationists say African elephants are increasingly under threat from poachers due in large part to rising demand for ivory in Asia.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid