JUBA, March 8 (Xinhua) — South Sudan on Tuesday banned all forms of
wildlife hunting, including commercial trade in wildlife trophies, the
country’s conservation agency said Tuesday.
The ministry of wildlife conservation and tourism banned wildlife products
such as skin, meat, fur, bird feathers, among others. According to the
directive, any person caught dealing with wildlife products shall be
arrested, prosecuted and those found guilty would face a two-year jailed
term or fines. Thomas Sebit, deputy spokesman of the ministry of wildlife
conservation and tourism, told Xinhua that the ban seeks to clamp down on
poaching of wild animals in the country’s national parks. He said the
government recently noticed increased poaching of gazelles, buffaloes and
elephants by armed groups and civilians across the country. “There are
people who are holding guns, they go to the national parks and kill our
animals randomly not discriminating whether old or young. You get cooked
bush meat in hotels and being sold in markets openly,” Sebit said.
War-torn South Sudan has the world’s second largest animal migration and is
considered a good place for ecotourism, according to the World Travel and
Tourism Council (WTTC). The East African country is also known for its vast
swamp region of the Sudd, sometimes referred to as one of the largest
wetlands in the world hosting about 400 species of birds. However, the
tourism industry made up only 1.8 percent of South Sudan’s GDP, WTTC said
in 2013. “We are urging our citizens to respect the law. These are
animals for us and will help us in the future when well managed to boost
our economy,” Sebit appealed.