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Gale Julius Dada-Radio Bhakita
Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 15:20
The Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism accuses the military for encouraging poaching of wildlife in the country. 
Deputy Spokesman Thomas Sebit says wildlife destruction and smuggling of animal products has increased across South Sudan.
Sebit accuses soldiers from the South Sudan Peoples’ Defence Forces or SSPDF of carrying out most of the poaching.
The spokesperson states two soldiers were arrested with over 500 kilograms of bush meat during an anti-poaching operation carried out on the east side of Juba last week.
In March 2018, South Sudan banned all forms of wildlife hunting and commercial trade in wildlife products such as skin, meat, fur, bird feathers, among others.
But the ban has yielded little impact as poaching continued
Sebit urges citizens to embrace and protect the available wildlife resources.
The official mentions the anti-poaching initiative is affected by conflict and lack of resources.
SSPDF spokesman Lul Ruai Koang, confirmed that two army vehicles were detained by wildlife officials, but denied accusations that the army is involve in poaching activities in the country.
According to a U.S. based Wildlife Conservation Society or WCS, South Sudan is host to some of the world’s largest animal species, but there has been a worrisome reduction in many of the country’s wildlife populations since the 70s.
The WCS attributes the decline to animal trafficking, food insecurity and economic hardship that has increased illegal trade in wildlife.

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