Somaliland: Wildlife Conservation Law Endorsed

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Rare tortoise unique to somaliland among endegared species

By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The government is set on creating wildlife sanctuary in various regions of Somaliland.
This development follows the Promulgation of a presidential decree # JSL/M/WM/249-3775/012016 that endorses a Wildlife Conservation law in the country.
In justifying the decree president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo quoted article 75 and 90 0f the constitution that empowers his office with endorsing laws approved by parliament.
The wildlife conservation law #69/2015 was enacted by parliament’s house of representative thus signature by the head of state as a prelude to empowering law enforcement agencies.
This law shall facilitate the creation of wildlife parks and subsequent protection which shall have a huge impact on prevalent poaching.
While the state has regular apprehended poachers in various parts of the country where endangered species are hunted wantonly for export, proper legal mechanisms were missing.
The issue of intent to conserve the abundant wildlife in Somaliland was first trumpeted by the minister of environment Ms Shukri Bandare as early as 2014 when she banned all export of wildlife from the country.

Among the species targeted by poachers are the Spurred and Leopard tortoise which is unique to Somaliland, cheetahs whose cubs are openly sold in the markets of Hargeisa for $50 a cub and lions to mention a few.
It is hoped that the Ms Bandare measures that resulted in the wildlife conservation law will deter a scenario like the one in March of 2011 that saw two rare Berbera lion cubs destine for sale in the Gulf being rescued from traffickers in Mogadishu and subsequently dispatched to South Africa where their fate remains unknown.
In the past a number of poachers have been caught red handed and much made of their prosecution that has so far ensued with nothing but talk thence hoped that the environmentally conscious administration and more so its minister Ms Shukri Bandare shall ensure that legal action is not only presumed to be but actually taken against any who is found to have contravened wildlife conservation law, regardless of station in life.
A case in point is the arrest of two poachers in Baligubadle district of Marodhi-jeeh region who were released after a short confinement though they were caught red handed in possession of some Spurred and Leopard tortoises which is a rare species of tortoise unique to Somaliland.

hopefully this law will laso deter suspected collusion between public servants with poachers and or falcon hunters

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