JUBA, JULY 12, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s civil society watchdog, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), has called for the establishment of a special court to try illegal poachers.
In a statement, CEPO said that the current judicial system is not equipped to handle the increasing number of cases of illegal poaching. The statement said that the lack of judges and other resources has led to a backlog of cases, and that many suspected poachers are walking free.
“The Ministry of Wildlife and the judiciary should take immediate action to establish a wildlife criminal offenses court of law,” said Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO. “This court would be specifically dedicated to handling cases of illegal poaching, and it would have the resources it needs to ensure that these cases are heard and prosecuted fairly.”
Yakani said that the increase in illegal poaching is a serious threat to wildlife in South Sudan. He said that the country’s soldiers and other government civil servants are often involved in poaching, as they are not paid regular salaries.
“Illegal poaching has become a short-term and immediate source of income for them,” said Yakani. “This is a serious problem, and it needs to be addressed.”
The Director-General of Wildlife, General Khamis Adiang, said this week that there are around twenty suspected poachers whose cases are in court, but their trial has been delayed due to lack of judges.