Yesterday the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released pictures of more than a ton of ivory seized in South Sudan last week. The ivory tusks and pieces weighed 2,800 pounds and were confiscated at Juba International Airport in South Sudan. IFAW congratulates the South Sudan Wildlife Service, Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism.
The shipment came from Entebbe airport in Uganda on a flight from Ethiopian airways. It was headed for Malaysia a popular transit country. Two arrests have been made in connection to the crime and government officials are requesting assistance with the investigation from neighboring countries Ethiopia and Uganda.
“This new seizure at an unexpected location shows that we must act now to protect elephants,” said Azzedine Downes, IFAW President and CEO. “It takes a network to defeat a network. We must join forces across borders, among non-profit organizations and government agencies.”
Fortunately, South Sudan is one of eight countries participating in the Horn of Africa Wildlife Enforcement Network (HAWEN). Other countries include Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sudan. HAWEN aims to prevent and combat wildlife crime in the Horn of Africa through cross-border learning and collaboration The Horn of Africa is emerging as a major region and hotspot for wildlife crime worldwide, both as a source and a transit route for illicit trafficking of wildlife products.
“Through HAWEN and IFAW’s new intelligence-led enforcement initiative in Kenya, tenBoma, we are building the enforcement networks that are needed to counteract the poaching and wildlife trafficking networks before it’s too late,” said Downes.
This article originally appeared on IFAW.