US army trains Tz rangers to counter poaching, illicit trafficking

22Aug 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
SONGWE
Financial Times
US army trains Tz rangers to counter poaching, illicit trafficking

DEEP in one of the largest countries in East Africa, United States Army soldiers have been training Tanzanian game wardens in operations to deter poachers and prevent extremist organizations from profiting from illicit activities.

US Army Staff Sgt. David Marcet, with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, provides guidance during a practical exercise in ground reconnaissance for Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority game wardens in Ngwala, Songwe Region, recently. PHOTO/US Navy

The soldiers, with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, conducted training in countering illicit trafficking for Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) game wardens from May to July.

Tanzania is rich in culture and wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, hippos, and lions. About 38 per cent of its land is reserved for conservation.

Illicit trafficking continues to be a transnational problem throughout CJTF-HOA's area of operations. Enhancing the game wardens' capabilities will disrupt the flow of illicit trade as well as the funding of violent extremist organizations, Army Maj. Kevin Jusza said.

POACHING FUNDS TRANSNATIONAL TERRORISM

"This illegal poaching and hunting funds transnational criminal activity," Jusza said. "A lot of these funds have been engaged with transnational terrorist activity. In Kenya, for example, Al Shabaab (terrorists) often cross the border from Somalia into Kenya to engage in poaching to fund their operations."

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