THT- As Somaliland continues to be the preferred route to the lucrative Arabian Gulf countries for wildlife Smugglers, authorities in Hargeisa and partner Cheetah Conservation Fund -CCF are intensifying counter measures.
For three days between the 9th-11th November , Jigjiga the capital of the Somali administrative region of Ethiopia was host to a meeting deliberating cross border wildlife crimes and cheetah poaching .
At the meeting Somaliland was represented by the Director General of the Ministry of Environment Abdinasir Ahmed Hirsi.l,Governors of Awdal and Gabiley regions including officials from CCF.
The meeting which unanimously agreed on the imperatives of enforcing anti-poaching and wildlife smuggling within and without borders of Ethiopia and Somaliland Concluded with a commitment to strength security cooperation and information sharing as a deterrence.
This commitment was boosted by the president of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia Mustafe Muhumed Omar in Jig-jiga where he hosted meeting participants.
While pledging support to endeavours to end cross border wildlife smuggling as well as poaching the president thanked Somaliland authorities for continued cooperation in various issues of mutual concern.
Leader of the Somaliland team Abdinasir Ahmed Hirsi, Director General of the Ministry of Environment thanked the President of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia for his hospitality as he ascertained Hargeisa based authorities commitment to not implementation of agreements reached but complete elimination of poaching and wildlife trafficking.
In Ethiopia where poachers are endangering the very existence of leopards, At least four leopard cubs per month are victims of illegal trade outside Ethiopia while many more die in the process.
With Somaliland as main conduit poached Ethiopian leopard cubs are first brought to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and then to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates through Yemen,
This was revealed in January of this year by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority WCA whose director Daniel Pawlos said that local citizens of his country are drawn to this practice for assured easy earnings.
Apart from being a conduit not for Ethiopia but entire horn if Africa region poachers and wildlife Smugglers Somaliland is also home to the same problem in which the government in partnership with CCF is intensifying anti poaching and wildlife trafficking.
So far a number of people have already been convicted while the Hargeisa based cheetah Sanctuary is home to 59 cheetahs rescued from poachers and smugglers in various parts of the country.
By: Yusuf M Hasan