Forest Officials Try To Downplay Tiger Poaching Issue

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NAGPUR: The first official statement on tiger poaching issued by the forest department on July 19, exactly 43 days after two organized poachers Mamru and Chika were arrested, seems to an exercise in washing hands off the poaching problem rather than trying to tackle it head on.

The statement by chief conservator of forests (CCF) for Nagpur Circle SH Patil, which was approved by additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) SS Mishra, comes in the wake TOI’s (Times Of India) expose of call detail report of tiger skin trader from Haryana Sarju Bagdi on July 20. Sarju procured tiger skins right under the nose of forest officials.

Tiger poaching in India

Tiger poaching in India

It was TOI which had first exposed the poaching case on June 10, but the department never came clear on the issue. First, it was about sale of five tiger skin, which included one from Tumsar and another from Melghat, bought by Sarju from Aamdi Fata near Ramtek. Even the mystery behind five tiger skins has not been solved yet.

Subsequent interrogation of poachers revealed that Sarju had procured six more tiger skins from Bhandarbodi near Ramtek in the first week of April. The total tiger skins Sarju bought from various gangs was 11.

Patil has clarified that arrested poachers never admitted about the latter six skins in their confession. Instead of probing the serious issue in toto, the forest officials are trying to downplay it.

Investigating officials from Melghat and Nagpur told TOI that the fact of six tiger skins procured in April first week was revealed by poachers when they were quizzed in Melghat on June 9, but the statement was not recorded for reasons best known to forest officials.

The six skins included one tiger each from Katangi in MP and another from Melghat. Four were suspected to be from other places, perhaps from PAs near Nagpur, and hence officials buried the fact.

However, another fact, which the department is hiding, is that is that when Mamru and Chika were arrested by police and forest officials on June 6 night, Chika was in police custody while Mamru was in forest custody at Seminary Hills. “It might quite be possible that Mamru must have told many facts to the officials, also about the six skins here,” feel officials. But why were statements at Seminary Hills not recorded?

Confession statement of Mamru, a copy of which is with TOI, taken on June 17, itself exposes forest department’s failure to nail the poachers and their lack of intelligence. Mamru has admitted that his gang stayed in Bhandarbodi. The CDR of Sarju also reveals he went there on April 3. He had also stayed in Mahadula during that period.

What were they doing in Bhandarbodi? Why did Sarju visit there? Why did forest officials take Chika and Mamru to Bhandarbodi for probe? These are some of the questions that remain unanswered.

Patil has said that Mamru and Chika were nabbed based on the CDR of poachers involved in Dhakna (Melghat) tiger poaching case on March 4. Actually, police nabbed the culprits on June 6. If officials were working on CDR since March 4, what did they do for three months? Why could not they nab Sarju when he was here from March 30 till April 6 and then again after May 26?

Another glaring fact is that Mamru admitted his gang killed Ghatang (Melghat) tiger in second week of May. If forest officials were working on CDR since March, why did they fail to nab the culprits for over 70 days?

The poachers revealed names of 16 gang members involved in tiger poaching here but none of them has been arrested yet. Two poachers Yarlen and Barsul were handed over by the MP officials and others were arrested by Melghat officials.

Instead of criticizing the media, if forest department is really serious about poaching, why the matter is not being handed over to the CBI? Even forest minister Patangrao Kadam has asked the officials to go ahead with CBI probe. Not to mention that notorious tiger poacher Sansarchand is set to be released.

News Link:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Forest-officials-try-to-downplay-tiger-poaching-issue/articleshow/21290373.cms?intenttarget=no

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Over 500 rhinos poached in South Africa this year : Czech Customs Seize Rhino Horns, 16 Charged

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JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng: More than 500 South African rhinos have been killed this year, official figures showed Wednesday, amid strong demand for horns on the Asian black market.

As of yesterday (Tuesday), a total of 515 rhino have been killed so far  this year,” said the environment ministry’s deputy director general Fundisile  Mketeni.

The lucrative Asian black market for rhino horn has driven a boom in  poaching in South Africa, which has the largest rhino population in the world. Many of the killings are thought to be perpetrated by poachers from global  syndicates.

On Tuesday Czech authorities charged 16 people from a gang that sent registered hunters to South Africa who returned with horns that were to be sent  on to Asian countries.

Customs officers seized 24 rhino horns, worth an estimated 3.9 million euros ($5.1 million).

Last year, 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa, a record high that could be surpassed if the poaching continues at today’s pace.

The army’s deployment in the hardest-hit area, the Kruger National Park, has done little to stem the killings. — AFP

News LinkOver 500 rhinos poached in South Africa this year – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/over-500-rhinos-poached-in-south-africa-this-year-1.325633#ixzz2Zy7SUzk3

Customs Administration of the Czech Republic
Rhino horns seized from smugglers by the Czech customs

Czech Customs Seize Rhino Horns, 16 People Charged

PRAGUECzech customs seized 24 rhinoceros horns Tuesday and charged 16 people with bringing the prized material illegally from South Africa to sell it in Asia.

“Our investigation showed that the transport is organized by an international ring of smugglers who have used fake export permissions seemingly complying with (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to import the rhinoceros horns from the Republic of South Africa to the European Union,” said Jiri Bartak, spokesman for the Czech customs department.

The arrests follow an investigation by Czech and EU customs authorities begun in 2011.

The gang was alleged to have planned re-exporting the horns as trophies, according to their fake documentation.

Rhino horns are popular in parts of Asia where many believe they can cure various illnesses or work as an aphrodisiac.

Czech authorities estimate the value of the seized rhino horns at up to 100 million koruna ($5 million), Mr. Bartak said.

The authorities said the ring employed people impersonating hunters to gain permission to ship horns acquired from African poachers to Europe and elsewhere.

Czech customs didn’t release details of where the charged individuals came from or give their names. If convicted they face up to eight years in prison.

News Link:-http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2013/07/23/czech-customs-seize-rhino-horns-16-people-charged/

CITES Partner Spotlight: INTERPOL’s Project WEB combats online wildlife crime

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“As the CITIES conference comes to the end of its first week, I thought I would just add the video in along with this post. Born Free’s CEO Will Travis, talks about some of the issues raised. Although I can’t believe the bid to halt the polar bear trade, was just swept under the table…WTF… Russia, Canada & the US…really have left the polar bears out in the cold…literally! I’m disgusted with their decision; same goes for the poor manatee!! I can’t wait to see what rubbish they come up with next week, for protecting species round the world; who are just about hanging on with their teeth!! Do the delegates from their respective country, actually know the danger some species are in?? I have my doubts given the first weeks bungles, honestly some of them are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Take about 30 of us animal advocates from face book, stick us round a table; & I’m sure we could come up with plans to help those in need!!”

Today saw the launch of the first ever internationally coordinated enforcement investigation into the online ivory trade.

Following the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW’s) recommendation and with our support INTERPOL undertook Project WEB, an investigation into the online ivory trade within the EU.

Summing up week one at the CITES meeting in Bangkok

Published on 8 Mar 2013

Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, sums up week one at CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting, covering secret ballots, elephants, rhino, polar bears, manatees and turtles.

The report revealed that there were hundreds of ivory items conservatively valued at approximately EUR 1,450,000 for sale during a two-week period on Internet auction sites in nine European countries.

During this survey of sites by enforcers, more than 660 advertisements for ivory on 61 different auction sites were analysed and as a result of the surveillance, six national and three international investigations were launched in cases where ivory was described as new or where ivory was being traded from abroad.

Project WEB by the numbers:

Estimated €1.45 million worth of ivory

Found in 9 Countries

Across 61 auction websites

In 660 online advertisements

Containing 100s of items made from ivory

Over a 2 week period

Leading to 6 national investigations

And 3 international investigations

This week sees the 16th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The 177 countries that are Party to CITES have already agreed, thanks in part to IFAW’s lobbying efforts, to investigate and prosecute wildlife criminals trading online as well as evaluate or develop their domestic measures to ensure they are sufficient to fight online wildlife crime.

While at least one country has strengthened their legislation to specifically target online wildlife crime and a small number of countries have started to develop strategies for tackling illegal wildlife sales on the internet, many more countries need to deliver on their promise and stamp out online wildlife crime.

Since 2004 IFAW has been highlighting the growing global threat posed by online wildlife crime to endangered wildlife.  A series of IFAW investigations have repeatedly shown that there are thousands of wild animals and wildlife ‘products’, such as ivory, available for sale on the internet all over the world.

Stop The Ivory trade

IFAW has found live primates, big cats, birds and reptiles advertised online while animal parts from rhino’s, elephants, sharks, Tibetan antelopes and sturgeon have also been available to purchase on the internet.

In January 2012, IFAW’s online monitoring found 17,847 ivory products listed on 13 Chinese websites, even though none of these products had the necessary Government approval.

Meanwhile, a four-week investigation in the United Arab Emirates and some neighbouring Arab countries in the same year found 796 adverts featuring live wildlife over 11 websites. None of the adverts had any documentary proof to demonstrate that the sales complied with the law.

In Europe an IFAW investigation in 2011 found a thriving trade in ivory items. The investigation tracked 43 sites in the UK, France, Portugal, Spain and Germany for a two-week period and found 669 advertisements for ivory.

The statistics are disturbing but can be hard to comprehend so let me give you one example that shows the horrors of this illegal trade.

In 2010 a British couple admitted 12 counts of illegally exporting, three of illegally importing, seven of illegally selling and two of illegally possessing specimens under the Customs and Excise Management Act.

The couple in question had been selling animal body parts from owls, a baboon, macaque monkeys, a python, an African penguin, an African lion cub and a Malaysian flying fox.

These items were kept in a store room full of skulls and other animal body parts which, when I saw the pictures, made me think it as a room of death for wildlife.

Highlighting the problem of this trade is an important first step but IFAW has been going one stage further and engaging website companies, law enforcers and Governments in our campaign to stamp out online wildlife crime.

After our 2008 Killing with Keystrokes investigation, where we found ivory was the number one wildlife product being traded online, we encouraged eBay to ban the sale of ivory on their websites and IFAW was very pleased to see them announce this ban in January 2009.

Meanwhile other websites have since followed suit including Alibaba (www.taobao.com) in China, the world’s largest business-to-business and outsource portal site for traders.

However, while banning the sale of wildlife products on websites does restrict unscrupulous traders’ ability to easily profit from these products, there is clearly a need for enforcers to ramp up their efforts.

We have seen traders time and again attempting to disguise their wildlife products to avoid detection by police, customs or website companies such as eBay.

In addition to working with INTERPOL IFAW is working with enforcement agencies across the world to catch online wildlife criminals by sharing the findings of our online investigations, facilitating international enforcement operations and by bringing together website companies and enforcement agencies in order that they can work in partnership in their fight against illegal wildlife sales on the internet.

–TM

Please sign petition:- Take action to help end the trafficking of wildlife online now, click here. 

News Link:-http://www.ifaw.org/united-kingdom/news/cites-partner-spotlight-interpol%E2%80%99s-project-web-combats-online-wildlife-crime

Inc.Very Graphic Picture: The Illegal Commercial Bushmeat Trade Inc. Videos

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“I started off with the intentions of just posting the news below…but as always, I get side tracked. (please remember, anything I have to say in a post is in this blue writing) I’ve heard about this gorilla but not seen much, until I saw this. It’s most remarkable, a great ape, capable of killing a human, in an instant; but instead, Koko the Gorilla & Robin Williams preferred to have a chit-chat, through sign language, then a tickling session  I’m more than aware that humans share between 80% to 98.5% (The reason for the big gap in % is because not all agree) of DNA with chimps, gorillas & orangutans. This really does show the fact that humans & apes are so very much alike, when it comes to feelings & behaviour etc. So we can’t let these magnificent species be taken to the edge of extinction; due to the bushmeat trade!!.”

Koko the Gorilla with Robin Williams

“After watching the above , now, try to comprehend my other video & the article below; posted for & on behalf of Tony Zadel. This shouldn’t be happening, yet it continues & is a thriving business!” 

Bushmeat, popular in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, is the meat of hunted wild animals; including shark fin. reptile & whale meat, birds & turtles eggs! So whilst on your travels please don’t ever buy; ANY TRINKETS MADE FROM ANIMALS, or EAT EXOTIC CUISINE…YOU MAY NOT BE AWARE IT IS FROM AN ENDANGERED SPECIES OR THAT EXTREME SUFFERING WAS INVOLVED IN ACQUIRING IT. The trade in bushmeat has become highly commercialized in recent years and is the most significant immediate threat to the great apes in Africa today.

“Don’t think for one minute, if a female chimpanzee is caught, her babies will be left alone…no way! There is just as much demand for babies as there is for the meat, perhaps more! Any nursing monkeys or apes could be targeted by the poachers, who without empathy, drag the babies from their mothers, still warm but breathless bodies! As if that wasn’t cruel enough, the callous barbarians, set about hacking the mothers into pieces; all, whilst in full view of the babies! I can’t begin to imagine how those poor babies must feel, or how long the nightmares will last.

 While most CITIES countries dilly dally, about this & that…you can be helping end the bushmeat trade by simply signing a petition or sending a pre-written letter by email; small things that will soon add up. We need to make it our goal, to educate & raise public awareness of this diabolical trade; that could eventually see some species become extinct! One voice can say a lot but may not be heard, but a chorus of voices, can demand attention! So if you want your grandchildren, to still be able to see these exotic species, please, just spend a couple of minutes signing petitions etc! I want my great-grandchildren to be able to see the fascinating creatures of the rain forests, roaming wild;where they belong!” 

Illegal Commercial Bushmeat Trade

Uploaded on 24 Jun 2009

At the heart of the declining chimpanzee population is the illegal poaching of chimps and other great apes for bushmeat. The Jane Goodall Institute is working with governments and local communities to end this horrible practice.

“Posted below, as is, for & on behalf of Tony Zadel – Please sign the petitions & take note of the links, inc. video, providing more information. Thank you!”

The Bushmeat Trade – Threat of Primate & Wildlife Extinction !!! 

The unsustainable commercial and illegal bush meat trade is threatening extinction of apes, chimpanzees, gorillas, and other primates and wildlife. Not only are the primates killed for food and body parts, orphaned primates are being sold on the exotic pet market, and they are also losing their habitat through logging and commercial development.

In Africa, forest is often referred to as ‘the bush’, thus wildlife and the meat derived from it is referred to as ‘bushmeat’ (in French – viande de brousse). This term applies to all wildlife species, including threatened and endangered, used for meat including: elephant; gorilla; chimpanzee and other primates; forest antelope (duikers); crocodile; porcupine; bush pig; cane rat; pangolin; monitor lizard; guinea fowl; etc.

Though habitat loss is often cited as the primary threat to wildlife, commercial hunting for the meat of wild animals has become the most significant immediate threat to the future of wildlife in Africa and around the world; it has already resulted in widespread local extinctions in Asia and West Africa. This threat to wildlife is a crisis because it is rapidly expanding to countries and species which were previously not at risk, largely due to an increase in commercial logging, with an infrastructure of roads and trucks that links forests and hunters to cities and consumers

The bushmeat crisis is a human tragedy as well: the loss of wildlife threatens the livelihoods and food security of indigenous and rural populations most depend on wildlife as a staple or supplement to their diet, and bushmeat consumption is increasingly linked to deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and Foot and Mouth disease. You can also help with organization like the BCTF, CWAF, and much more..

Please take a moment to view my friend link about the Bushmeat Trade http://www.occupyforanimals.org/bushmeat.html

Illegal Bushmeat

The picture link i have posted above is from Central Africa Traffic of animals body parts, Gorillas,Primates, Crocodiles and many more..

READ MORE ONhttp://www.save-the-primates.org.au/facts-bushmeat-trade.htm

READ DETAILS ON BUSHMEAT & WILDLIFE TRADEhttp://www.bushmeat.org/bushmeat_and_wildlife_trade/regions_affected/central_africa?page=2

Read alsohttp://www.buzzle.com/articles/endangered-gorillas.html
PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO (NOT GRAPHIC) http://vimeo.com/4984959#at=0

Above posted for & on behalf of Tony Zadel; https://www.facebook.com/tony.zadel

A National Geographic Video: Explaining The Wild-Blood Ivory Trade

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“This is a follow on, from the previous post. I wanted to show the full extent of the ivory problem, to as many people as possible. I want people to fully understand the problems, faced by elephants, due to the high supply & demand of ivory. Then hopefully, after viewing the video, one might want to go back to the previous post & carry out the instructions or click the link at the bottom of this post, that will take you to the page. It’s only 3 steps. 1 send an email letter (the template & email addresses are included) 2. sign 2 petitions (links are there) 3. to simply share it with everyone you know; we all need to do our bit, to help save the elephants.”

“The National Geographic film is 45 minutes long…but well worth 45 minutes of anybody’s time. I have watched many videos on the subject, but believe this one  gives a very real & disturbing insight into all areas of the ivory trade. From the poachers to customs & excise, even the Chinese government! This racket is definitely very shady; undercover agents were told things that really puts this expensive trade; into perspective!”

“As previously stated in the prior post, the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in March 2013 is so important in stopping the ivory trade. The scientific community, global intelligence agencies and wildlife trafficking authorities warn that the African Elephant is on the precipice of extermination due to the unmitigated slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants each year.”

” One interesting fact pointed out in the film, is that some Chinese people, believe ivory comes from the elephants teeth, which they presume just grows back! Therefore, education is a big factor here, the Chinese government need to get their ass into gear & make the Chinese aware of what ivory really is & the despicable, heinous way, in which it is taken from the elephant, often leaving many baby elephants to die also!”

“One big problem, is something used by many Chinese people…ivory chopsticks! Now I know that their not all made of ivory, but do up market restaurants use them; if so  imagine how many chopsticks China gets through in week? How many elephants are killed just to support the demand for chopsticks??

Please note: Viewer Discretion is Advised (more so in the fist 10 minutes)

Help the elephants CITIES CoP 16 Link; everthing you need is included in this link :-http://www.elephantectivism.org/p/ivory-action-1-2-3.html

National Geographic:-Wild-Blood Ivory Smugglers

Published on 18 Jun 2012

National Geographic:-Wild-Blood Ivory Smugglers

Help Stop The Killing And Poaching Of Wild Tigers In India

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“Please help stop the senseless killing of these beautiful & powerful species, before they are gone forever.” 

“Posted for & on behalf of my dear friend & animal warrior Tony Zadel”

STOP KILLING AND POACHING TIGERS IN INDIA FOR THEIR SKIN !

PLEASE SIGN & SHARE WIDELY THESE  PETITIONSPetitions below

POPULATION OF THE TIGERS IN INDIA DECLINES ENORMOUSLY FAST !
1900 – 100,000 exist
1950 – 40,000
2007 – less than 5,000 survive; 2,500 in India, IUCN status ‘Endangered’
2010 (Year of the Tiger) – only 3,500 remain in the wild globally (1,400 in India)

Tigers are a conservation dependent species, requiring large contiguous forests with access to water and undisturbed core areas in which to breed. Tiger range throughout India, Indochina, and Southeast Asia is now 40 percent smaller than it was in 1951, and today tigers occupy a mere 7 percent of their historical territory in increasingly fragmented and degraded landscapes.

Amidst this, the threats are mounting. The main threats to wild tigers include:

  • Habitat loss and fragmentation due to mining
  • Logging, farming
  • human settlement
  • Depletion of their prey base
  • Conflict with humans – villagers wander the forest for grass to feed their animals
  • Poaching for their skins, and other parts for Traditional Asian Medicines, such as bone.

Source:http://www.bornfree.org.uk/animal-future/project-focus/tigers/

Latest figures show there may only be 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world. Unless we take action now we could lose these magnificent animals forever.

Tiger skins are still in demand as luxury items in some countries, and tiger parts coveted for their ‘medicinal’ properties.
The tigers’ forest habitat is vanishing too. Destruction of forests for timber, agriculture and road building has forced tigers into ever-smaller areas, where they’re even more vulnerable to poachers.
Poachers also hunt the tiger’s prey species, and tigers are forced to target domestic animals, bringing them into fatal conflict with local people.

Watch this insightful video to see what the problems are: Please note, some scenes contain graphic images. 

101 East: India Last Of The Tigers

Uploaded on 18 Nov 2011

Conservationists are in a desperate and uphill battle to save India’s tigers from extinction. Video Link: ! http://youtu.be/VlcGI_J7Jho

LATEST UPDATE :Tiger smuggling ring busted in Nepal ….

Nepalese police have arrested 7 people involved with tiger smuggling in the country and recovered 7 tiger skins, hundreds of tiger parts and bones. Two operations were undertaken by the Nepalese authorities following specialist intelligence training by Interpol in December. 
The first operation was on 11 January.

Officers of Manaslu Conservation Area seized four tiger skins, 53 kg of tiger bones and arrested four people who were allegedly trying to smuggle the tiger parts into Tibet, China. The following day, police conducting road checks near the Chinese border seized 5 tiger skins and 114 kg of tiger bones that were concealed in bags of rice in a van also heading to China.

Here the picture:http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/408499_466351453422681_777225923_n.jpg

Investigation’s into the ring which is involved with smuggling tiger parts into China is ongoing.
Source http://wildlifenews.co.uk/2013/tiger-smuggling-ring-busted-in-nepal/

Please sign the following petitions:

READ MORE ABOUT TIGERS FACTS HERE : http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/tigers/

“Thank you all Tony Zadel – Copyright(©)”

South Africa To Use Aircraft Against Rhino Poachers

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South Africa is to deploy a reconnaissance airplane to combat a massive rise in rhino poaching.

The plane will be equipped with surveillance equipment including thermal imaging to detect poachers.

It will patrol over the Kruger National Park, a vast reserve that borders Mozambique and home to two-thirds of South Africa’s rhino population.

So far this year 588 rhinos have been killed in South Africa, in what is being called a “relentless onslaught”.

That figure has risen from just 13 reported cases in 2007 as organised and well-armed crime syndicates target the animals.

South Africa is home to the world’s largest rhino population – an estimated 18,000 white rhinos and 1,700 critically endangered black rhino.

The rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, even though there is no scientific proof of its effects. It sells for around $95,000 (£60,000) per kilo, almost twice the value of gold.

Rhino poaching in South Africarhino (1)

  • 2007: 13 reported cases
  • 2008: 83 reported cases
  • 2009: 122 reported cases
  • 2010: 333 reported cases
  • 2011: 448 reported cases
  • 2012: 588 reported cases – to 4 Dec

Source: Traffic, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network

The director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Jason Bell, said: “The killing of rhinos for their horns does not exist in a vacuum, but is a complex problem where values of tradition and culture have been corrupted in the name of commercial exploitation.”

“Be it elephants and ivory, tigers and tiger parts, rhinos and rhino horn, the endpoint is the same – profit. And that profit is being chased down in the most brutal fashion by organised crime syndicates.”

So far this year, South Africa has already armed some of its park rangers and deployed dog patrols to try and stop the poachers.

The surveillance airplane for the Kruger National Park was donated by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, whose chairman Ivor Ichikowitz said: “You have to fight fire with fire.

“This thermal imaging technology will deliver more powerful observation capability to the Kruger National Park’s rangers, making it difficult for poachers to hide.”

News Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20592820

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