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 user 2005-03-18 at 10:49:00 am Views: 40
  • #10922
    Sudan is ‘centre of ivory trade’
    Thousands of elephants are being killed in central Africa to
    supply an illegal ivory market in Sudan, a report says.

    Dr Esmond Martin,who led the research,said three-quarters of the poached
    ivory ends up in China- now the major market in the world for ivory.

    He said he has visited 50 shops in Khartoum and Omdurman where ivory is being
    illegally bought and sold.

    He says the trade in ivory is being openly conducted and threatens the very
    survival of the elephant in Africa.

    Chinese oil workers

    Dr Martin, who released the report on behalf of Care for the Wild
    International, said some 150 people are working in Khartoum, carving the ivory.

    He says he counted more than 11,000 ivory pieces on sale, even though the
    trade is against Sudanese law.

    “All the Sudanese need to do is enforce their own laws,” He said.

    Some 75% of the ivory is bought by Chinese customers, many of whom are
    working in Sudan in the oil industry.

    “They are not buying small quantities, they are buying huge quantities to
    take back home,” he said.

    According to Dr Martin, the elephants are being killed in their thousands in
    central Africa, principally in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central
    African Republic, Chad and southern Sudan.

    To supply the market for illegal ivory in China and the Far East it is
    estimated that 6-12,000 elephants are killed each year.

    It is not known what percentage passes through Khartoum but Dr Martin says it
    is significant.