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中非局勢混亂 大象慘遭屠殺


摘譯自2013年4月26日ENS美國華府報導,江惟真編譯,蔡麗伶審校

中非共和國因政權之爭情勢一片混亂、大象盜獵猖獗之際,保育團體卻不得不撤離工作人員。

國際保育團體世界自然基金會(WWF)已證實Dzanga-Sangha保護區內有盜獵森林象的情形。該保護區位於剛果盆地西北部,喀麥隆、中非共和國和剛果之交界處,屬於世界遺產。

守衛人力不穩定讓森林公園的工作人員難以在茂密叢林內尋找大象屍體,但有報導指出,當地市場和附近村莊有人販賣象肉。

由於該地區的暴力和混亂局勢,大象被屠宰的確切數量不得而知,但WWF於25日指出,據初步了解,規模可能不容小覷。

WWF和總部位於紐約的野生動物保護協會(Wildlife Conservation Society,WCS)已將工作人員疏散至安全地區。兩個團隊多年來致力於保護中非共和國的動物和其棲息地。

WWF總幹事Jim Leape說,「大象盜獵問題在象牙需求的帶動下,已經嚴重到沒有哪個地區是安全的了,連WWF和WCS投入大象保護工作幾十年的世界遺產Dzanga-Sangha保護區也不例外。」他補充,「英勇的巡守員們面對巨大的危險毫無畏懼,但光靠他們並不足以保護這裡的珍稀物種和世界寶藏。」

Dzanga-Sangha保護區位於剛果盆地西北部,喀麥隆、中非共和國和剛果交界處,由三個相鄰的國家公園所組成,總面積約75萬公頃,是森林象、極危西部低地大猩猩、瀕危黑猩猩和許多其他瀕危動物的棲息地。

兩組織都呼籲中非共和國及其鄰國立即增加該地區的守衛,以保護當地人民和大象。

亞洲象牙市場的龐大需求,造成非洲每年有多達30,000頭大象被殺害。

各國政府5月初將舉行特別會議,討論遏止盜獵之措施。

「在該次會議上,中非各國政府必須緊急聯手打擊此類犯罪活動,這對中非各國的穩定和經濟發展也造成嚴重威脅,」Leape說, 「我強烈建議領導人們對抗野生動物犯罪,並共同宣布決不寬貸盜獵和非法販賣。」

WCS總裁兼首席執行官Cristian Samper說,「WCS和WWF呼籲中非共和國政府立即增加該地區的守衛,防止大象盜獵,也要求其他各國政府提供援助,以停止殺戮。我們的工作人員在混亂中已被迫撤離。」「最近我拜訪中非共和國時親眼目睹,完全沒有全職人力巡守該地區,大象暴露在盜獵危險之中。 WCS和我們的合作夥伴將繼續努力,盡其所能保護大象。」

WWF在Dzanga-Sangha地區的貢獻已有30年之久,支援管理保護區、研究大猩猩、協助執法和發展旅遊業。

WCS在該地區也已超過20年,負責監測和研究Dzanga Bai地區的大象。Dzanga Bai地區是一片森林中的空曠地區,有一個含豐富礦物質的大水坑。

此外,在剛果政府正加派邊境警力時,WCS也立刻跨越邊境進入剛果,保護象群。

過去10年間在François Bozizé將軍執政之下,政治局勢看似穩定,卻以腐敗、落後和專制著稱。反政府武裝聯盟「Séléka」發動叛變,掀起中非共和國內戰和2012年至2013年間的中非共和國衝突。2013年3月24日,反政府軍推翻了Bozizé。

反政府軍領袖Michel Djotodia自封為總統。首相Nicolas Tiangaye由於上任不久,Séléka叛軍允許保留他的職位。

但中非經濟共同體的六國領導人拒絕承認Djotodia的總統職權,建議組成過渡議會並舉行選舉。 Djotodia於4月6日簽署法令,同意組成過渡議會。 97名成員組成的議會負責在18個月內選出總統。

4月19日,中非政府和各國首腦舉行特別高峰會,同意承認過渡議會並派遣2000名士兵至中非多國部隊支援過渡政府。

與此同時,聯合國已經任命愛爾蘭前總統和前聯合國人權高級專員Mary Robinson為非洲大湖地區秘書長特使。Robinson將訪問中非共和國。經聯合國斡旋,中非共和國已成為「剛果民主共和國區域和平、安全與合作架構」(Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region)2月通過的11個簽署國之一。

Robinson辦公室發出的協定內容摘要和特使任命文件「希望框架」(Framework of Hope)寫道,「此協定將從衝突的根本原因著手,強化鄰國間的互信,為當地人民建立區域的和平穩定。」

Elephants Slaughtered Amidst Chaos in Central African Republic
WASHINGTON, DC, April 26, 2013 (ENS)
Conservation groups have been forced to evacuate their staff members from the Central African Republic, where large numbers of elephants are being poached amidst a chaotic struggle for leadership of the country.

The World Wildlife Fund has confirmed that forest elephants are being poached near the Dzanga-Sangha protected areas, a World Heritage Site situated in the north-western Congo Basin, where Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo meet.

The unstable security situation is keeping park staff from searching the dense forest for elephant carcasses, but elephant meat is reportedly being sold in local markets and nearby villages.

Due to the violence and chaos in the area, the exact number of elephants slaughtered is not known, but initial reports indicate it may be extensive, WWF said Thursday.

The global conservation group WWF and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society have evacuated their personnel to safety. Both groups have worked to conserve the animals and their habitat in the Central African Republic for many years.

WWF Director General Jim Leape said, "The elephant poaching crisis, driven by insatiable ivory demand, is so severe that no area is safe, not even the World Heritage Site Dzanga-Sangha where both WWF and WCS have now worked for the conservation of elephants for decades."

"Heroic rangers are standing firm in the face of immense danger, but they alone cannot safeguard the special species and places the world treasures," Leape said.

Situated in the north-western Congo Basin, where Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo meet, the Dzanga-Sangha protected areas are three contiguous national parks totalling around 750,000 hectares. Sangha is inhabited by populations of forest elephants, critically endangered western lowland gorilla,  endangered chimpanzees and many other endangered animal species.

Both organizations are calling on the Central African Republic and its neighbors to immediately increase security in the region to protect the area's people and elephants.

Up to 30,000 elephants are killed in Africa each year for their ivory tusks, which are in great demand in Asia.

Governments are holding an extraordinary meeting next week to discuss ways to stop the poaching.

"When meeting next week, Central African governments must urgently join forces against this criminal activity that is also threatening the stability and economic development of their countries," Leape said. "I encourage them in the strongest terms to take a stand against wildlife crime and together declare that poaching and illicit trafficking will not be tolerated."

Wildlife Conservation Society President and CEO Cristian Samper said, "Together, WCS and WWF are calling on the Central African Republic government to immediately increase security in the region to protect these elephants from poachers and is asking other regional governments to provide assistance to stop the killing. Our staffs have been forced to evacuate in the chaos."

"I recently visited Central African Republic and saw first-hand that without a full-time conservation presence in the region, these elephants are in jeopardy from poachers. WCS and our partners will continue to work tirelessly to protect elephants across their range," said Samper.

WWF has worked in Dzanga-Sangha for 30 years and supports protected area management, gorilla research, law enforcement and tourism development.

WCS has been in the area for than 20 years, in charge of monitoring and research of the elephants of Dzanga Bai, a forest clearing containing a mineral-rich watering hole.

In addition, WCS works immediately across the border in the Republic of Congo to protect the same population of elephants there where the government is working to ensure their additional security on that side of the border.

Despite an appearance of stability over the past 10 years when General François Bozizé was in power, his rule was marked by corruption, underdevelopment and authoritarianism. An alliance of armed opposition factions known as the Séléka Coalition rebelled, waging the Central African Republic Bush War and the 2012–2013 Central African Republic conflict. They overthrew Bozizé on March 24, 2013.

The rebel leader Michel Djotodia proclaimed himself president. Nicolas Tiangaye remained as the prime minister as he was recently appointed and was allowed by the Séléka rebels to retain his post.

But leaders of the six-nation Economic Community of Central African States refused to recognize Djotodia as president, proposing instead the formation of an transitional council and the holding of new elections. Djotodia signed a decree on April 6 for the formation of a council that would act as a transitional parliament. The 97-member council is tasked with electing a president to serve prior to elections in 18 months.

On April 19, an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of Central Africa agreed to recognize the transitional council and send a total of 2,000 soldiers to the Central Africa Multinational Force to support the efforts of the transition government.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has appointed Mary Robinson, former Irish President and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Robinson will visit the Central African Republic, one of 11 signatories to the UN-brokered Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region, adopted in February.

"This agreement represents an avenue of hope for the people of the region to build stability by addressing the root causes of the conflict and fostering trust between neighbors," according to Framework of Hope, a paper summarizing the accord and the Special Envoy's mandate issued by Robinson's office.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS