Kenya Ivory Seizer: Ivory Tusk Bound for Turkey Seized in Kenya

About 1,600 pieces of ivory were counted in the consignment and its market value is around $1.4m

About 1,600 pieces of ivory were counted in the consignments which were seized in the port city of Mombasa in Kenya

 

Officials of the Custom Exercise and Preventive Service in Kenya have seized a large consignment of Ivory which was bound for Turkey at the coastal port city of Mombasa.

The four tonnes of ivory were hidden inside sacks of sesame seeds in order to deceive port officials to be able to ship the Ivory to its destination.

The Kenyan Wildlife Service said more than 1,600 pieces of ivory were counted in the consignment and its market value is around $1.4m.

Kenya Wildlife Service President, Arthur Tuda said the ivory was found during two separate searches on different days at the port city of Mombasa.

“The ivory came through the Kenya-Uganda border stashed in sacks, and they were hidden in two 4ft containers, export documents declared the containers as carrying sesame seeds,” he said.

But customs official said smugglers sometimes ships Ivory Tusks through countries not normally associated with demand for ivory and thereafter, ships it to Asia where demand for Ivory is believed to be very high.

Searches at Mombasa port were being increased in a bid to stop smugglers from evading and violating laws on Ivory.

In January this year, two tones of ivory worth around $1m were seized in Mombasa port while in transit from Tanzania to Indonesia.

In July too, officials seized large consignment of some 770 pieces ivory tusk hacked out of elephants which had come from neighboring Uganda and was bound for Malaysia.

The Kenyan government and many African nations have banned trade in ivory which made poaching subsequently declined but there has been a rise in the illegal practice in recent years with poachers resorting to other methods in perpetuating their trade.

Kenya has recently taken a more aggressive stance against poaching as it tries to combat a surge in demand for ivory from Asia.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has also banned the trade in ivory in 1989 but in recent years poaching has increased across sub-Saharan Africa with criminal gangs slaughtering elephants for ivory markets in Asia.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

 

Kenya Elections: Kenyans cast their ballot in crucial elections today

Kenyans vote in crucial elections today

Kenyans vote in crucial elections today

 

Kenyans are voting in an election that observer groups describe as the most important history in the country’s democratic credentials.

It is the first time a vote has taken place under a new constitution, designed to prevent a repeat of violence that followed the 2007 polls which resulted in chaos in the country.

More than 1,000 people died when supporters of rival candidate’s group between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga clashed over a contested result in 2007.

Raila Odinga claimed then that he was cheated by President Mwai Kibaki resulting in that unfortunate incident.

Despite appeals for calm, reports say at least two police officers died in clashes near Mombasa early today which might raise red flags as to how events might turn during the counting process.

Kenyans will choose a president, members of parliament and senators, county governors and members of the newly-formed county assembly.

Eight candidates are standing for the high office (presidency) but it is essentially a two-horse race between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, many analysts believe.

Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta, is due to stand trial at the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in orchestrating the violence five years ago.

Prior to the elections, some group of people challenged his eligibility to stand in the elections but the country’s Supreme Court ruled that he is eligible to run for the presidency.

Local reports say that they were long queues at the various polling stations across the country when polls opened around 06:00 local time which might probably suggest that there will be high voters turn out.

President Mwai Kibaki who is not seeking re-election urged Kenyans to vote peacefully and for the losers to accept defeat in good faith to protect the peace of the country.

“Cast your vote and keep the peace,” he said in a televised address to the nation on Friday on national television.

“Let us send a clear message to the world that our democracy has come of age. A peaceful vote is a vote for a secure, prosperous and stable Kenya.”

Candidates have also promised to respect the result and urged their supporters to refrain from violence that is likely to disrupt the elections process and further ruin the country.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News