JUBA – South Sudan government’s Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism has summoned the Akobo youth leader to protest recent killing of several wild animals in Akobo County of Jonglei state.
On 26 May, photos surfaced online showing three armed men beside dead wild animals including an Elephant, a giraffe, and a buffalo.
The photos that were posted under the name Kim Wiyual shocked social media users who demanded tougher action against poaching.
Akobo youth leader, Geng Deng Nguoth on Monday was summoned by Minister of Wildlife and Tourism, Rizik Zechariah Hassan to explain the reason for the recent killing of wild animals in his area by young people.
“The Minister of Wildlife and Tourism Hon. Rizik Zechariah Hassan and Minister of Water Resources Hon. Manawa Peter Gatkuoth has today (Monday) summoned Akobo youth leader about the recent poaching of animals which is allegedly carried out by the armed youth in the area,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Hassan warned preachers against killing animals, stressing the need to conserve wildlife for future generations.
“Hassan as the concerned Minister has briefed the youth leader and his team about the importance of animals as natural resources. He said the animal should not be killed but should be utilized for tourism to generate an economic income to the country,” it said.
Geng Deng Nguoth, the Akobo Youth leader regretted what poachers did in the area and pledged to persuade the youth in the area so that such targeting of Wild animals is discouraged once and for all.
“Deng promised Hon. Ministers that he will try the best of what he can to ensure that such unnecessary hunting of animals is renounced,” it said.
The decades-old conflicts with neighboring Sudan caused the immigration of many wildlife species into various game reserves.
In addition, illegal poaching has also affected wildlife conservation efforts since the independence of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011.
South Sudan is home to wildlife species such as elephants, cheetah, ostrich, Nile crocodile, and pangolins among others, but all these species are at risk of extinction.
The population of wildlife in South Sudan is regarded as the second largest in the world with an important migratory route.
Boma National Park and Southern National Park are only a few of the wildlife zones in South Sudan.
The best wildlife zones in the young nation, include the Nile River floodplain, wetlands, high plateau regions, open savannah grasslands and escarpments.