At least 44 persons arrested for wildlife trafficking in Gabon have been sentenced to different jail terms.
The convicted persons were part of the 54 charged to court and were sentenced to between 180 and 730 days in prison.
HumAngle learnt that eight persons are currently on trial while three other persons have been released and their case files closed due to the lack of evidence to convict.
The Central African nation has been at the forefront of the fight against the illegal trafficking of wildlife in Francophone Africa.
According to a report of its 2020 activities, the international environmental non-governmental organisation, Conservation Justice, notes that 19 operations were carried out during the year by agents of the Ministry of Forestry and Water, assisted by law enforcement agents.
The trial and conviction of the culprits were facilitated by the application of the law on wildlife (AALF).
During the period under review, 47 wildlife traffickers were arrested, mostly from Gabon and seven other countries.
“In the area of the fight against wildlife trafficking, Gabon is an example to be emulated within the sub-region and, more globally, in Francophone Africa,” declared Luc Mathot, the Executive Director of Conservation Justice.
“We are part of the Eagle network, which is active in 10 African countries, and we cannot but note that the number of convictions in Gabon is much higher than in the other countries where we are active,” Mathot said.
The operations carried out within the context of the AALF project led to the seizure of 73 elephant tusks, four panther skins and two 12 calibre hunting rifles.