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Six African Countries set up Force to Fight Wildlife Crimes

  • Thursday, July 1, 1999

Six countries in Africa have established the world's first international task force to combat poaching and other wildlife crimes.

The Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia agreed in March to empower the "African Interpol," as many call the task force, to help stop illegal trade in wildlife, the United Nations Environment Program announced recently.

The task force, which is headquartered in Nairobi, grew out of a recommendation by wildlife law enforcement officers from eight African countries who met in Lusaka in 1992. The unit functions under the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations of 1996 and is expected to strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

National law enforcement officers from the six countries will work together on cross-border operations against wildlife crime.

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