21 May 2013

War weapons may have been used in elephant slaughter - UN

1:46 pm on 21 May 2013

The United Nations says armed groups in central Africa are using powerful weapons, some of which may be left over from the civil war in Libya, to kill elephants for their ivory.

In a report to the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says elephant poaching is a growing security concern, particularly in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad and Gabon.

Mr Ban says the illegal trade in ivory may be an important source of funding for armed groups, including warlord fugitive Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, Reuters reports.

"Also of concern is that poachers are using more and more sophisticated and powerful weapons, some of which, it is believed, might be originating from the fallout in Libya," his report said.

Mr Ban says in one wildlife parpark alone, Minkebe in northeastern Gabon, more than 11,000 elephants had been slaughtered between 2004 and this year.