Groupe Congo Medias

Evariste LeLousside,
December 20, 2017

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The Peripheral Ecosystems Management Project of the Odzala Kokoua National
Park located in the Department of Sangha carries out a fierce fight against
wildlife crime. Regularly, the Eco Guards carry out patrols and searches at
the various checkpoints to get their hands on the potential traffickers of
weapons of war and wildlife protected by law.

This strategy resulted, on Sunday, December 10, 2017, in downtown PK pylon
on the Ouesso-Pokola stretch, to the red-handed arrest of five individuals,
with two elephant ivory tusks cut into four pieces, from the district of

All of Cameroonian nationality, these are Sylla MAMADOU, Tchari MOUMOUN who
is an imam in Ngombe, OUSMAN Sakaria who is a servant in Ngombe, ASSAFFI
Doutoum who is a preacher at the mosque of Ouesso, and ABDOURAMAN YOUSSOUF
who is an imam in Pokola.

They would all be involved in the illegal ivory trade in the Sangha
Department. They each have a specific role in this international criminal
network (supplier of arms and ammunition, carrier, commercial to supply
their customers) while using their faith as cover.

This is a blow for the Muslim community in the North, or even the Republic
of Congo, tarnishing once again the image of religion. Indeed, it is not
the first “believing” men who have been arrested and sentenced for ivory

In Mossaka in the Department of the Cuvette, during the year 2017, it is
the Protestant Pastor of the locality, BODZENGA BOPAKA Rock and his brother
who were arrested in Brazzaville with thirty kg of ivory or 11 elephant
ivories; the trial is still ongoing.

All the lights are now focused on the authorities of Ouesso and more
particularly the High Court of Ouesso where the first hearing will take
place in January 2018. Firm and exemplary justice is expected to send a
strong message from the beginning of the New Year 2018. These Cameroonian
nationals face imprisonment of more than five years for the detention,
circulation, and attempted commercialization of two elephant ivory tusks.

The elephant is threatened with extinction in many places because of
poaching for its tusks. Tri-national forest Dja-Odzala-Minkebe (TRIDOM) is
particularly affected by the big poaching. The area is known as one of the
hottest places in Africa for ivory trafficking and elephant poaching. The
acts of plundering wildlife in particular and biodiversity in general by
several crooked and corrupt citizens are frequent in the Republic of Congo.
It is therefore up to the justice system to strictly repress these acts, in
order to better dissuade and sensitize the public.

It is important to remember that ivory partly finances extremist groups
such as Boko-Haram. Fortunately in the Republic of Congo the elephant is
part of a fully protected species as stipulated in Article 27 of the
Congolese law for the protection of these wildlife species: “the import;
export; the detention and transiting on the national territory of fully
protected species; as well as their trophies are strictly forbidden; except
special derogation of the water and forest administration; for the purposes
of scientific research”.

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.