Friday, April 26, 2013

Elephant Poaching on the Rise After the Overthrow of Central African Republic's Government

A forest elephant in Central African Republic's Dzangha-Sangha Special Reserve

The Central African Republic has been in the news in recent times due to increased hostilities between the government and rebels, which has resulted in the overthrow of the nation's president Francois Bozize and the federal government. But this significant event has also led to another catastrophe: surge in elephant poaching. Conservationists stated that the rebels, who were responsible for bringing down the government, are also believed to be involved in poaching. One of the primary hotspots of poaching activities is the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve, which has been home to more than 3,400 elephants. The overthrow of the government has allowed poachers to further carry out their slaughter. Bas Huijbregts, head of policy for WWF's campaign against poaching in Central Africa, stated that elephant meat is being sold in the town of Bayanga near the reserve and other surrounding villages. The local residents further added that at least forty elephants had been killed in Dzangha-Sangha since the rebels took control on March 24. However, the World Wildlife Fund stated that it was impossible to estimate the numbers of animals killed since no patrols had been going into the jungles to determine the exact figures.
Rebels in Central African Republic are believed to be involved in the poaching of elephants in the country.

This article is a clear representation about the side effects caused during the aftermath of the overthrow of a federal government. In the case of Central African Republic, one of those side effects has been an increase in poaching. Because there is no government to oversee the country, it is possible for criminals of all sorts, including poachers, to carry out their evil deeds. It has been said that ever since the rebels toppled Central African Republic's government, their leader, Michel Djotodia, has taken over to lead a transitional government. However, critics have stated that he has little control over his followers who have been blamed for continuous looting of hospitals and aid groups in the nation's capital of Bangui. In addition, the rebels have also been said to have looted the offices of WWF staff in the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve and even formed alliances with poachers from Sudan. This has truly, along with targeting innocent civilians, has made them a force to be reckoned with. I feel that Central African Republic is in a dire need of help regarding lives of its people and wildlife. The nation is now being overrun by not just any poachers, but also cruel and bloodthirsty cutthroats who have no regard for human or animal life. Immediate action must be taken to help bring down the rebels conducting their activities in and around Dzanga-Sangha Reserve, as well as in other parts of Central African Republic. In addition, a new government must also be established to replace the current existing one that has put millions of lives at stake.

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