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Sudan burns tonnes of ivory and rhino horn

Reporter: Patrick Oyet 丨 CCTV.com

06-12-2016 15:40 BJT

South Sudan has burned more than five tonnes of confiscated ivory and rhino horn. It's part of an ambitious new plan to curb poaching. The country has some of the most diverse wildlife on earth but says it needs international help protect its animals.

Long years of conflict in South Sudan have been good for poachers.They've been allowed to hunt almost unchecked. And elephant and rhino numbers have fallen sharply.

Even with a peace deal, they remain an easy target. This month alone, authorities have seized 30 Kilograms of ivory at Juba International airport.

"South Sudan because of the decades of civil war and the recent crisis, such species are threatened to extinction with fortune on the elephants on the rise," said Arshad Khan, UN Environment Programme, South Sudan.

Kenya recently burned more than 100 tonnes of ivory and rhino horn - valued at more than 100 million dollars - in a very public gesture against poaching.

Now South Sudan has followed with its own burning. It says more tough measures will follow.

"Wildlife criminals should face the law as a deterrent for future crimes on wildlife products," said Jemma Nunu, Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, South Sudan.

But, with the economy shattered by recent conflict, the ministry lacks money for animal conservation.

Jemma also said, "Currently the ministry needs adequate means of transport and communication equipment and capacity building for personnel to effectively undertake its mandate to wildlife conservation and protection."

This is the first time South Sudan's government has burned its stock of poaching contraband.

It is calling for international partners to help fight poaching and preserve its wildlife.

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