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Govt issues strict warning against poaching

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: April 8, 2024

Elephants cross the plains of the Boma-Jonglei landscape in South Sudan.[Photo by Paul Elkan and Jeremy Gustafson]

South Sudan government has warned the public against killing wildlife for consumption and sale in the country, adding that it is prohibited by law.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said anyone found committing the vice will be arrested and held accountable.

“Our population these days have been trying its level best to live on this wildlife,” he pointed out while speaking to reporters after the Council of Ministers meeting in Juba on Friday.

“The killing of wildlife is prohibited by law and if you are arrested or caught killing a wildlife, or carrying parts of wildlife, you will be arrested and you will be brought to the books, because this is a violation of the law.”

Makuei added that if protected, the wildlife will boost the tourism sector and generate enormous revenue to the country.

“It is worth mentioning that wildlife is one of the most reliable resources,” Makuei said.

“If properly protected, it will constitute a very big tourism and will generate lot of revenue, and it is renewable revenue, not non-renewable like oil.”

“It is continuous this and it will continue to general more revenue as we continue to take care of these wildlife other than killing it and eating it for that day only. People are advised to take care of these wildlife.”

South Sudan has six national parks and more than 10 game reserves covering more than 13 percent of the country’s terrain.

The country has more than 300 mammal species and boasts as one of Africa’s greatest annual antelope migrations.

– Poaching –

The country’s wildlife and tourism potential is threatened by widespread poaching and attacks on rangers by armed civilians and members of the organized forces, according to reports.

In January 2023, dozens of poachers were arrested while transporting thousands of kilograms of bush meat from Mangala’s Bandingilo National Park, and Lafon County in Eastern Equatoria State.

Wildlife Minister Rizig Hassan Zachariah estimated that the confiscated meat could be from at least 110 wild animals – including dozens of antelopes.

Three tons of bush meat confiscated from illegal dealers/Getty image

An official of the ministry of wildlife also accused elements from the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, in March 2023, of repeated poaching of wild animals in South Sudan’s Nimule Game Reserve.

The ministry’s director-general, Lt General Khamis Adiang Diing, made the statement following the fatal shooting of an elephant with a PKM machine-gun near the Ugandan border on February 28, 2023.

A wildlife ranger was killed, and his colleague injured in an ambush by bandits along the Bor-Gadiang highway in Jonglei State in April 2023.

 

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