West Africa agrees to multi-national anti-poaching force


A new international anti-poaching force of 1,000 is being established to protect west African elephants.

A gang of 300 Sudanese elephant poachers have wrecked havoc across west African elephant populations. Now the affected African states are fighting back and have agreed to the formation of a specialist 1,000 strong anti-poaching unit that will cost USD 2.3 million.

The 15 west African countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Yaounde, Cameroon, between March 21 and 23 to discuss a range of issues that affect the region. How to combat the poaching gangs from Sudan was on the agenda.

The new plan will see a new military force of 1,000 soldiers made available for deployment to areas that the poachers are active in. 

The 15 countries that make up the ECOWAS commission are:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cote D’Ivoire
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinee
  • Guinee Bissau
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togolese Republic

The poaching gangs have operated across the western Africa region the last major incident being a few days ago when 89 elephants were killed in Chad on one night. The gang was also responsible for killing over 300 elephants in February last year in Cameroon.

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