Cover Story

NGOs warned against illegal wildlife trade


Jemma Nunu Kumba, Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism (photo credited to Wildlife Conservation Society South Sudan):

 By Opio Jackson

The Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Jemma Nunu Kumba has issued a warning to all the international Non-governmental Organizations and Diplomatic Corps against illegal wildlife trade.

Mrs. Kumba said commercial bush meat hunting, trade and trafficking offences were not only being committed by the citizens in South Sudan, but also certain international NGOs and United Nations personnel and infrastructure.

She urged the international staff to respect the laws governing wildlife. “On several occasions we have witnessed multi-practices in which some members of international worker are involved in illegal trade in wildlife products,” Mrs. Kumba said.

The statement comes barely after a week when an international staff working with one of the NGOs was detained in Rumbek for allegedly trafficking Rhino horn.  According to the Wildlife Minister, the suspect had designed the Rhino horn to resemble a walking stick.

Mrs. Kumba reiterated that the ministry was mandated to protect and conserve wild life as well as to promote tourism, adding that the country had a huge potential to promote tourism due to its wide varieties of wildlife species.

She stressed that although the country was facing a lot of challenges as some areas were still having insecurity which constitutes the main threat to wildlife conservation, they were trying their best to ensure that wildlife was protected for the current and future generation.

“These are some of the practices we are totally against and the government has banned any illegal trade in wildlife products,” she said adding that there were laws in place and penalties to be applied on anybody who dealt in illegal wildlife trade.

The Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism together with its partner the Wildlife Conservation Society South Sudan have exerted resources to secure the outstanding natural heritage of the country for current and future generation through awareness campaign.




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