L’Union (Gabon)

Ecoguard killed in Mekambo: The guardianship demands that justice be done (Gabon)
The Union
June 1, 2021

Écogarde tué à Mékambo : la tutelle demande que justice soit faite

Ecoguard Jean-François Ndong Aubame

Following the sudden death of the ecoguard Jean-François Ndong Aubame, who was shot dead with a 12-caliber shot, in Mékambo, by Ruffin Youbandjiya, an educational advisor working in the capital of the Zadié department, the Minister of Forests, Lee White, whose reaction was also eagerly awaited, condemned the criminal act with the utmost energy—not without requiring that the law apply all its rigor against the murderer currently on the run.

It is through a press release that reached our editorial staff that the supervisor expressed his wish to see justice do its work. Recalling the facts from the outset via the information made available to him, the number one of the Department in charge of the Environment indicated that it was after hearing about the “possession of ivory tusks and weapons by an inhabitant of Mékambo, that the mixed team composed of four (4) eco-guards and three (3) agents of the national gendarmerie, went to the Corniche district (Mékambo) to the latter’s home”.

Lee White and accusing: “Lurking near his home, the shooter, known services for his involvement in poaching and ivory trafficking, opened fire on the gendarmes and eco-guards.” Gunshots after which Jean-François Ndong Aubame – who joined the National Parks Agency (ANPN) in 2008 – passed from life to death on the spot.

According to statistics provided by the member of government, the balance of the dark rangers killed in Africa in the exercise of their functions within ten (10) years is 1000. “This is the first such incident in Gabon, but this will not weaken the determination and commitment of the government to preserve the integrity of the national parks and to fight against the illegal exploitation of our natural resources and all associated trafficking”, warned the supervisor.

Saluting the memory of the deceased presented as a “faithful guardian of our biodiversity which he protected with force”, the Minister of Forests expressed his compassion to all his family and to those close to Jean-François Ndong Aubame, not without reassurance that the forest administration and all the eco-guards stand alongside his family to overcome this ordeal and uphold justice.