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Court charges suspected poachers in Nimule

Author: Moyo Jacob Felix | Published: Thursday, March 16, 2023

Judge's gavel in courtroom - (Photo: Courtesy).

A mobile court in the border town of Nimule in Eastern Equatoria State has framed charges against two individuals suspected of poaching at the local game park.

This is according to Both Philip, the lawyer representing the Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism Ministry.

Defendants Atheib Osmane and Carlo Ali were arrested on August 16 2022 on accusations that they were found selling elephant tasks at Elegu, a Ugandan town close to the border.

Plaintiff’s lawyer, Philip told Eye Radio that the suspects were first apprehended by the Ugandan authorities to be tried at a court in Kampala.

They were later extradited to South Sudan after the wildlife authorities called for their trial in Nimule.

On Wednesday, the Nimule court framed charges against them under section 25/1 of the Wildlife Act 2010 that provides penalties related to poaching.

On his part, the defense lawyer, Gama Hassan Oscars argued his clients were neither involved in poaching nor selling of animal products saying the two have not been caught at a crime scene.

The accused are expected to present evidence in the next hearing scheduled for March 17, 2023.

On February 28, 2023, an elephant was shot and killed at the Nimule National Park by suspected Uganda People’s Defense Force soldiers.

The elephant, believed to have been hunted for its ivory, succumbed to bullet wounds and thirst at the park.

Studies conducted by South Sudan’s Wildlife Service have found that the elephant population in South Sudan has declined drastically from around 80,000 in the 1970s to around 2,500 today.

In addition to elephants, giraffe and tiang antelope, South Sudan is home to buffalo, lions, antelope, gazelles, reedbuck and other animal species.

The animals have for centuries migrated en masse across the country in search of food and water.

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