March 15, 2020
The court of First Instance of Djoum and that of Mfou will each have the hearings of suspected wildlife traffickers on the 16th and 18th of March respectively.
The case on the 16th at Djoum court of First Instance will be its 5th hearing concerning 2 traffickers arrested in December 2017 with 216 elephant tusks and 81 elephant tails aboard the vehicle of a colonel of Cameroon army in Djoum.
This new court hearing comes after an insufficient and inappropriate sentence was passed taken into consideration the quantity of wildlife products seized.
Meanwhile, the court hearing on the 18th of March at the court of First Instance of Mfou will concern a Ghanaian nationality who was arrested in possession of 20 African grey parrots at Kienke.
He had previously been arrested in 2015 trying to illegally ship African grey parrot but was released and caught again on March 2017 with a shipment of around 200 parrots that was about to arrive the Nsimalen international airport for export. It’s on this count that he shall appear before the Mfou court of First Instance for a second hearing.
Cameroon law on wildlife is clear and the government is making effort in preserving the wildlife sector with much still expected to be done especially at the judiciary.
The trafficking of wildlife products by traffickers endangers wildlife resources of the continent and even of the world. It’s often overlooked and under-prosecuted whereas, it’s ranked third crime after trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings. A call for an exemplary punishment is necessary to create deterrence. Therefore imposing weak sentences on wildlife traffickers only encourages them to engage more in wildlife crime.