The Inspector General of Police, Gasana Emmanuel has said that Rwanda has no record of illegal wildlife trafficking but there are times when it might be used as a transition route for the illicit practice, wildlife trafficking being a challenge of the entire world.
He noted this yesterday during the 2nd Conversation on Conservation Conference held in Kigali as one of the build-up activities towards the 12th Kwita Izina to be held in Kinigi, Musanze district on 2nd September 2016.
“Illegal wildlife trafficking has not yet reached Rwanda. A report from police indicates that there are some people who use Rwanda as a transit route. We have also seized 168 kilograms of elephant tusks from seven foreigners who collaborated with seven Rwandans,” said IGP Gasana.
Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board, Belise Kaliza said that Rwanda will not relent in tackling wildlife trafficking of whatever form and other converging threats.
“All wildlife body parts intercepted are from abroad where people use Rwanda as a transit to their markets. We destroy the seized wildlife body parts,,” he said.
Asian countries are known as major markets of wildlife body parts such as like ivory and unprocessed leather among others.
Kaliza said that participants of the 2nd Conversation on Conservation pledged to defeat buyers of trafficked wild life body parts as a way of curtailing poaching likely to result into eventual decimation of iconic fauna species.
Tusks of Rhinos, elephants; teeth and bones of Black Panther are among expensive products in illegal wildlife trafficking.
Rwanda, at the beginning of August 2016 burnt 150 kilograms of elephant tusks and arms seized from poachers in Nyungwe National Park as a way of discouraging illegal wildlife trafficking.
Illegal wildlife trafficking is ranked 4th World’s illegal trade after arms trafficking, drugs and human trafficking.