The cabinet meeting of the Council of Ministers on Thursday 10 June adopted a draft decree on “administrative abuse of elephants”. The decree also recognizes the use of the right to self-defense by populations that are victims of the human-elephant conflict, which has become recurring in the country.
as reported from Libreville, Yves Laurent Goma
The government adopted this decree under pressure from the rural populations. Two weeks ago, Mekambo, an almost locked city in the east of the country, experienced a situation close to insurgency. The people, united in the “Movement against death through hunger and physical aggression of elephants” organized a gigantic march in the city to protest against the elephants who daily attack them and destroy their plantations.
In passing, the protesters searched the office of the National Agency for National Parks and chased the prefect of the city. A villager used his 12-gauge rifle and shot dead a guard. A few days earlier, a villager had been trampled to death by an elephant near Koula Moutou, in the southeast.
Elephants are completely protected and have become the main cause of food insecurity. As their natural environment has diminished, mainly due to logging, they now live close to people, right by the gates of Libreville.