Charting transnational poaching networks between Uganda and Tanzania

Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) led intelligence officers from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Tanzania Wildlife Division (TWD) and Tanzania Police in a joint intelligence gathering mission in Mutukula (Uganda/Tanzania) border and the surrounding areas in April (23rd to 27th ) 2012.

This first-ever cross border joint intelligence gathering between Uganda and Tanzania resulted in obtaining critical intelligence on poaching gangs operating in both countries and across the borders. The areas hit include Kakunyu Ranch and Rumanyika Game Reserve (Tanzania) as well as Lake Mburo National Park (Uganda). Their illegal activities target mainly the elephant and rhinoceros for ivory and horns trafficking. Many other wildlife species are also threatened in the process for skins and meat trade. Heavily armed and well financed, the gangs constitute a serious threat not only to wildlife safety but also to human security across the borders.

Authorities in the two countries are using the intelligence to bring the notorious cross border poachers as well as their kingpins to justice and thus address the increasing poaching problem in the areas. LATF is spearheading strengthening of cross border wildlife officers networks between Uganda and Tanzania (members of the Lusaka Agreement) to enable them closely work together in tackling the threats.

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