Ivory lines Army pockets

While there has been an historic link between organised poaching during times of
conflict Africa has borne the brunt with its vast quantities of ivory, rhino horn, bush-
meat and exotic pets.

Following the ‘liberation wars’ throughout southern Africa during the 1970’s and 1980’s it was revealed how deeply enmeshed the South African Defence Forces
(SADF) were involved in ‘industrial’ levels of poaching and associated smuggling rings.

Since 2010 there has been a rapid increase in ivory and rhino poaching in Africa with the well-publicised explanations being the demand from China and the lack of
protection and security throughout the region. What has recently emerged is the deep complicity of various state armies with devastating results.

In an article yesterday The New York Times revealed: ‘ some of Africa’s most notorious armed groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Shabab and Darfur’s janjaweed, are hunting down elephants and using the tusks to buy weapons and sustain their mayhem.

‘Organized crime syndicates are linking up with them to move the ivory around the world, exploiting turbulent states, porous borders and corrupt officials from sub-Saharan Africa to China, law enforcement officials say.’

The article continued: ‘members of some of the African armies that the American government trains and supports with millions of taxpayer dollars — like the Ugandan military, the Congolese Army and newly independent South Sudan’s military — have been implicated in poaching elephants and dealing in ivory’. Jasper Humphreys, The Marjan Centre
The article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/world/africa/africas-elephants-are-being-slaughtered-in-poaching-frenzy.html?pagewanted=all

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