Central African countries agreed to mobilize as many as 1,000 soldiers and law-enforcement officials to combat a group of 300 elephant poachers from Sudan, the World Wildlife Fund said.
The deployment was agreed by the Economic Community of West African States at a meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon, between March 21 and 23, the WWF said in an e-mailed statement today. It comes after horsemen slaughtered 89 elephants in Chad on the night of March 14 and 15 in the worst poaching incident in the region since February last year, when 300 elephants were killed.
The emergency plan will cost about 1.8 million euros ($2.3 million), the WWF said.
Elephants throughout Africa are under threat from poachers who harvest the animals’ ivory for sale to buyers in countries including China and Thailand.