Ignore the rubbish in the Mirror (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/elite-british-troops-trail-elephant-10721620) and Independent and parroted by the Environmental Investigation Agency with no evidence whatsoever, of Boko Haram role in ivory poaching in Gabon. There is no evidence as IUCN and WCS have told me, of any Boko role. They do not poach or trade in ivory. Gabon’s elephants are killed in large numbers by local, poor poachers who do it to survive. They are commissioned by criminal syndicates (also involved in the illegal bushmeat trade) who smuggle the ivory out via Cameroon or through to Dar e Salaam or Mombasa. Major Chinese role, as poaching and bushmeat hunting has worsened as Chinese run or funded construction projects have carved roads into rainforests near parks. Gabon, despite huge oil wealth, puts little cash into poverty alleviation or anti-poaching, which is one reason poaching continued. Read my ivory book http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/ivory/ and this – https://rusi.org/publication/whitehall-papers/poaching-wildlife-trafficking-and-security-africa-myths-and-realities – to get full story not the convenient fiction that suits corrupt governments and NGOs hungry for any publicity.

Gabon is an oil-rich country which does little to alleviate rural poverty or fund sustainable conservation. The Boko Haram accusations are to mask Gabon government inactivity and hidecthe corruption, poor conservation management and likely Chinese role in poaching and smuggling of wildlife products. The British army role is not new and the discourse of fighting two evils is a good way for the British government to justify backing an authoritarian government that should be funding conservation and rural community development from oil earnings that just support the Bongo family patronage networks.