Category Archives: Africa

Bongos and bushmeat in South Sudan’s crisis

Deep in the bush on South Sudan’s western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a tropical forest marking the source of the tributaries to the White Nile and the River Congo, effectively the East-West Africa transition zone.  … Continue reading

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Kenya’s ‘killing fields’

‘Denying sanctuary’ or ‘draining the swamp’ is classic counter-insurgency strategy, which in Kenya also involves wildlife conservation as part of the ‘hearts and minds’ strategy. The Kenyan security ‘sweeps’ involve not only an escalating back-drop of brutality against indigenous Kenyans … Continue reading

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– 60%: a figure that stains Tanzania

Tanzania’s elephants suffer a staggering decline as corruption-driven poaching bites By Professor Keith Somerville, author of Ivory. Power and Poaching in Africa (Hurst, 2016) Tanzania has one of the largest savannah elephant populations in Africa with an estimated 42,871 elephants, … Continue reading

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‘White gold’: Kenya’s black tale of greed

The three ‘C’s – commerce, colonialism and criminalisation of indigenous hunting – created the illegal poaching and smuggling networks in Kenya In the first blog on Kenya’s role in the international ivory trade, I concentrated on the current picture and … Continue reading

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Kenya’s criminal ivory tower

Behind the ivory burning and fine words lies corruption and smuggling. (Part 1 of 2). By Professor Keith Somerville, author of recently published ‘Ivory: power and poaching in Africa’. On 30th April 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to over … Continue reading

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Ivory Wars

  Joanna Lewis, Assistant Professor, Department of International History at the London School of Economics (LSE) writes: ‘Anyone who believes that China’s recent pledge to ban the ivory trade by the end of 2017 will make a difference to the … Continue reading

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Sorting fact from fiction

Former British Foreign Secretary, The Rt Hon William Hague, will chair the launch of a joint publication by the Marjan Centre with the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI) called ‘Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Security in Africa: Myths and Realities’ which … Continue reading

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The bleeding heart of Africa: blood ivory

‘Blood ivory’ – ivory sold to fund militia insurgency and terrorism – is widely debated but often misunderstood as elephant populations in central Africa face obliteration (as opposed to extinction by natural processes) within the next decade if not five … Continue reading

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The nature of militarization (3/final)

Does militarisation within conservation work? Clausewitz’s famous dictum of war being an extension of politics by other means applies equally to the ‘militarization’ of counter-poaching. Firstly, the increasing privatisation of counter-poaching inevitably means there is a loosening of controls by … Continue reading

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The nature of ‘militarization’ (2)

‘Shoot-to-kill’ is part of a general criticism of ‘militarization’ in wildlife protection terms that the use of force is synonymous with coercion and violence, and also that ‘militarized’ counter-poaching can be prioritized to the detriment of community-based natural resource management … Continue reading

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