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S Sudan: a critical crossing point for illegal tusk trafficking – Report

Some Elephant tusks recovered by wildlife rangers in Garamba National Park in the northern DRC, Nov. 18, 2015. Photo: African Parks/Jerome Starkey.

South Sudan and Uganda are critical crossing points for illegal trafficking of elephant tusks and body parts of other endangered species, a new report has shown.

These include Pangolin scale and hippo teeth from Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The report, titled, “Deadly Profits: Illegal Wildlife Trafficking through Uganda and South Sudan,” says the armed conflict in South Sudan and Congo are the drivers of poaching, trafficking, and corruption in neighboring states.

The report, based on field research was released this month by the Enough, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity.

In response, the spokesperson of the national Ministry of the Wildlife Conservation and Tourism acknowledges South Sudan is a crossing point for illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife.

Brigadier General Khamis Adiang told Eye Radio the government is working on combating the passage of illegal elephant tusks, pangolin scale, hippo teeth, and others.

“We exchange information with Interpol on targets [poachers] so that we follow and arrest them,” Brig. Adiang told Eye Radio Friday.

The report also says over five tons of Ivory have been seized at Juba airport over the past three years.

Another ton of ivory was seized in Uganda in February, trafficked from West Africa and a separate 1.3 tons went missing from the Uganda Wildlife Authority stores between 2009 and 2014.