Rumbek poachers sentenced to 14 years in prison
By Sheila Ponnie
RumbekHigh Court has sentenced Machuei Jok Akool and Mabeny Mayom Malou to 14 years in prison for killing an Elephant from Southern National Park.
The duo also charged for illegal trade in wildlife ivory products.
State High Court President Michael Atem Chol Lakes who presided over the case fined the criminals 100,000 SSP each and 14 years jail sentence.
The convicts shall also pay 250,000 SSP each as reparation to the government for illegally killing the Elephant.
“The two convicts are ordered to pay 500,000 SSP compensation of the deceased Elephant and each convict has to pay 250,000 SSP according to section 47 of Wildlife Conservation Act 2013,” the statement read in part.
Mayom Mayen, Coordinator for Southern National Park (SNP) Wildlife Conservation Services field site welcomed the ruling.
He said the court was doing enough by taking appropriate sentences against poachers or wildlife traffickers.
“If courts condone these dealers more poaching will continue and thus, pose major threats to elephants and wildlife population in general. I express gratitude to the judge for taking tougher sentencing against the dealers in ivory,” Mayen said.
Mayen likened the killing of an elephant to that of a human being, adding that the dealers deserved a long jail term because elephants are a first class animal in schedule I and section 25 of the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2003.
According to the Wildlife authorities, the rate of poaching has slide down in SNP due to arrests and convictions of poachers since March 2019.
So far seven poachers have been convicted by the local courts in Gulmar Payam of Bhar el Gel County in Western Lakes State.
Some of the suspects were found selling local items made of ivory such as bangs, rings after the case were reported to wildlife authority in Rumbek.
The case was referred to the high court by the public prosecution Attorney for court hearing.