Fauna: a strong increase in elephant poaching in northern Congo (Republic

of the Congo)

Agence d?Information d?Afrique Centrale/Brazzaville

August 24, 2017

See link

<http://www.adiac-congo.com/content/faune-une-forte-recrudescence-du-braconnage-delephants-au-nord-congo-68666>

for photo.

The anti-poaching patrol team of the Espace Tridom Interzone Congo (ETIC)

project, on 23 August in Brazzaville, reported the arrest of two poachers,

F?licien Logo Ebab and P?pin Blaise Momata on the river Dja (Congo-Cameroon

border).

They are suspected of having participated in the killing of 4 elephants in

the Nki National Park (Cameroon), but they confessed during their

interrogations that they shot 10 elephants and sold the trophies.

In addition to the 8 ivory tusks, the two poachers were arrested in

possession of a Kalashnikov-type weapon of war, as well as two empty clips

and more than 30 munitions of war.

?This area of the river Dja separates the future protected area of

Messok-Dja in the Congo and the national park of Nki in Cameroon. This is

an ecological corridor for elephants between the two countries, and even a

continuous habitat for many animal species,? said Corneille Moukson

Kutia-kwa-Nzambi, legal assistant of the Tridom Interzone Congo (ETIC).

This arrest stems from increasing cross-border poaching. It is in this

sense that the countries of the Trinational Dja-Odzala-Mink?b? (Tridom),

notably Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon, signed a ?Protocol for the fight

against poaching? in 2014 in order to be able to act during patrols on both

sides of the border.

These joint patrols are still too occasional in view of the development of

networks of ivory traffickers in these cross-border areas. Thus, a

reflection is underway at the Tridom landscape to improve this type of

monitoring. This initiative as well as the classification of the massive

forest of Messok Dja (Congo) in the protected area will also offer

emblematic species?like the elephant or the gorilla?a haven of peace in

this exceptional landscape.

WWF?s inventories have shown the reduction to 80% of elephant populations

in the last few years in the area of Nki and Boumba Bek. The recent arrest

shows that poachers and their sponsors are able to exterminate elephants in

this cross-border area. The Dja River, one of the tributaries of the

Sangha, is called the Ngoko River on the Congo side.