Information was received from the South Sudan capital Juba that security services at the international airport have arrested an SPLA soldier who carried 8 elephant tusks.
The suspect confesses that he had bought the blood ivory from other government soldiers, trying to make a living after not receiving any salary for several months. He named a Sudanese man from Darfur as his buyer and was enroute to the town of Renk to meet him when he was arrested.
The minister responsible for wildlife in the current transitional government of national unity Jema Kumba denounced the find and vowed to strengthen measures to reduce poaching and ivory smuggling.
During the civil had law and order largely broken down and the government troops as well as the opposition soldiers resorted regularly to poaching, not just to have meat to eat but, reportedly also for game trophies like ivory tusks to sell and make money.
Meanwhile has Spanish police reportedly also made a major seizure, when 74 tusks were found with a trader using fake documents from Mozambique.
Kenya will be introducing a motion to ban all trade of any form of ivory at the upcoming CITES meeting in Johannesburg but insider sources have already suggested that there will be opposition from other countries which have over the past weeks belittled Kenya’s burning of 105 tons of blood ivory and nearly 1.5 tons of rhino horn. Several countries’ leading politicians have poured scorn over Kenya’s ivory burn and in various words called the action anything from silly to stupid, as illicit ivory and rhino horn worth nearly 150 million US Dollars was reduced to ashes.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta at the ongoing UNEA Conference in Nairobi however once again reiterated the country’s uncompromising stand that ivory belongs to elephant and that poaching, trading, smuggling and processing must be criminalized to protect the last remaining African elephant or else risk lose them in the space of another decade.