JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan on Tuesday banned all forms of
wildlife hunting, including commercial trade in wildlife
trophies, the country’s conservation agency said Tuesday.
The ministry of
wildlife conservation and tourism banned wildlife products such
as skin, meat, fur, bird feathers, among others.
According to the
directive, any person caught dealing with wildlife products
shall be arrested, prosecuted and those found guilty would face
a two-year jailed term or fines.
Thomas Sebit, deputy
spokesman of the ministry of wildlife conservation and tourism,
told Xinhua that the ban seeks to clamp down on poaching of wild
animals in the country’s national parks.
He said the
government recently noticed increased poaching of gazelles,
buffaloes and elephants by armed groups and civilians across the
“There are people
who are holding guns, they go to the national parks and kill our
animals randomly not discriminating whether old or young. You
get cooked bush meat in hotels and being sold in markets
openly,” Sebit said.
War-torn South Sudan
has the world’s second largest animal migration and is
considered a good place for ecotourism, according to the World
Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The East African
country is also known for its vast swamp region of the Sudd,
sometimes referred to as one of the largest wetlands in the
world hosting about 400 species of birds.
However, the tourism
industry made up only 1.8 percent of South Sudan’s GDP, WTTC
said in 2013.
“We are urging our
citizens to respect the law. These are animals for us and will
help us in the future when well managed to boost our economy,”
South Sudan says
rehabilitation of ex-child combatants on progress
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan on Monday said the rehabilitation and reintegration
of hundreds of former child combatants recently released from
various armed groups is on progress at various training centers.
William Deng Deng,
head of the South Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and
Reintegration (DDR), told journalists that they are already
offering trauma and psycho-social treatment to 311 ex-child
combatants released in February with the help of UN children’s
fund (UNICEF) from the South Sudan National Liberation Movement
(SSNLM) in Yambio, south of the capital.
“The reason they
(children) joined combat is because they lack skills to live
within the economy. We are already offering counseling, trauma
treatment and psycho-social support to them,” Deng said in Juba,
adding that they are registering the remaining 389 children in
Budue State out of 700 that have been released.
Deng disclosed that
vocational skills like carpentry, farming, building and brick
laying are some of the skills the ex-child soldiers are
national coordinator for Child DDR, confirmed they are aware of
more children still serving in various armed groups.
“What we know there
are still more children with armed groups, so long as the
conflict continues there are groups that tend to use children,”
he said, adding that children act as informers and helpers
within the armed groups.
Oluku added that
about 4,000 former child soldiers have been released from armed
groups between 2011-2018.
According to UNICEF,
17,000 were recruited into armed conflict by the warring groups
since the start of war in 2013 including 2,342 children killed
or maimed, 3,090 children abducted, and 1,130 children sexually
descended into violence in December 2013, after political
dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek
Machar led to fighting mostly between Dinka ethnic soldiers
loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace
agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016
when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing
Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has
killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that
have sought refuge in neighboring countries.