Rhino horn funding Renamo???

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by gillettehunter, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Sent to me from a friend in RSA. No clue if true or not. Thought it made sense and some here find it interesting. Bruce


    In recent conversations with rhino conservation stakeholders Pot-Shot has learnt
    that there are increasing indications that the Mozambican opposition movement Renamo
    is actively involved in rhino poaching as a means of funding their organization. The
    recent incidents of violence in the Gorongosa region has raised fears that Renamo
    may be considering a wider scale resumption of hostilities since it declared an end
    to the 1992 Peace Agreement a week ago following a government attack on a Renamo
    base in central Mozambique. Renamo was one of the two belligerent parties in the
    devastating Mozambican civil war that raged from 1975 until 1992 and left
    approximately a million people dead.

    One of Pot-Shot's sources said that in a recent discussion with a senior police
    officer in Skukuza it was revealed that the SAPS has obtained substantiation within
    the past several weeks linking Renamo to poaching activity in the Kruger National
    Park. Recent reports say that poaching is mainly conducted by Mozambicans who are
    supposedly highly trained, well armed, and well-versed in military tactics. As a
    movement with decades of experience in guerrilla warfare Renamo is able to supply
    not only ground teams with shooters but also the logistical support to move horns
    removed from rhino carcasses back into Mozambique where it possesses the
    infrastructure to effectively smuggle the contraband out of the country.

    The Vietnamese telecom Movitel is also currently the third active cellular network
    service provider in Mozambique. The Movitel mobile network footprint has been
    established by developing a fibre-optics network instead of relying solely on
    transmitter towers, which means that hundreds of Vietnamese technicians have
    established grass-roots infrastructure in numerous villages across a large part of
    Mozambique. With Vietnam being the world's biggest consumer of rhino horn, it is
    feared that certain individuals working for Movitel are involved in the illicit
    trade as intermediaries between Renamo and dealers in Southeast Asia.

    Another worrying trend seen over the past number of weeks in Mozambique has been the
    kidnapping of children for ransom of certain high-ranking and prominent people in
    Maputo. Current conjecture is that this may also be part of a Renamo campaign to
    generate cash.

    "What is worrying about the possibility of Renamo engaging in rhino poaching as a
    means of filling its war chest now that hostilities have a possibility of increasing
    is that this could lead to a substantial escalation in rhino poaching on South
    Africa's border with Mozambique", Pot-Shot's source said.
     
  2. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    A quick scan of the web turns up several other sources with similar reports. In addition, Renamo has recently renounced the 1992 peace deal. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/10/23/peace-deal-off-renamo

    You can add to this story that Mozambique has huge natural gas reserves. There is an LNG port under construction, scheduled to open in 2018. It will be the second largest in the world. That much natural gas represents a lot of money flowing through the country. That's money that can be siphoned into politicians' bank accounts... and that gives Renamo incentive to fight to topple the government so they can grab some of that money.

    Here is a link to an African blog about the problem. It also gives insights about the role that unemployment and poverty may have in the problem.
    Mocambican perspective on the rhino poaching scourge

    That same site has statistics about Rhino poaching in South Africa - 790 so far this year; 476 in Krueger National Park.
     
  3. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Add greedy outfitters, PH's, business men, and High ranking SA government officials, as well as South African police service members into the mix, and the problem clearly becomes more than just a Renamo concern.

    My best always.
     
  4. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    plus the millions of chinese in just about every country on the continent. there arent many village dogs or pigs left running around where they are building the roads.........:hmmmer: hardwood,ivory, rhino horn........................etc all fair game for them.
     
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I tend to agree with you. We all know a lot of people took the money and let the rhino perish. It's no different than all the drug cartel stuff that has happen in the USA for the last +50 years. A lot of people turning their heads to problem and taking a brief case or truck load of money to forget that they saw anything. You read about the Giant Sable in Angola....a lot of poaching still going on....a lot of people knowingly breaking the law and not giving a sh*t.
     
  6. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    WARNING: Very disturbing photos

    This story that is on the stoprhinopoaching website is very graphic but illustrates the brutality of the poachers. Unbelievably, this rhino survived for a week after the poachers finished.
    STOP RHINO POACHING NOW!
     
  7. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Unfortunately for the rhino, Vietnam is prospering and able to afford to pay astronomical prices for rhino horn. According to an article in The Atlantic, the horns are worth $100,000/kg. That's $2,840/ounce. A rhino horn will typically weigh 1 - 3 kg. In a region where unemployment is in excess of 20%, and a decent job only pays $50 - $120 per month, that rhino's horn is equivalent to 800 - 6,000 years of wages - an unbelievable fortune. That would be like someone in the US having a chance to get $16 - $120 million. (Sorry about the lack of precision on the numbers.)

    The Atlantic article goes on to examine the problem in more detail (and doesn't hug a single tree). It has a lot of good info. I recommend it. It appears that use as an aphrodisiac is not the main problem - cancer treatment and status symbol are more significant.
    Why Does a Rhino Horn Cost $300,000? Because Vietnam Thinks It Cures Cancer and Hangovers - Gwynn Guilford - The Atlantic
     
  8. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..and diamonds and drugs and human trafficking and sex slavery and piracy and corruption and theft and hi-jacking and blackmailing and lawless open borders and ignorant political greed and.. as angry as this makes me, and as willing as I am to shoot poachers on sight, when you add all of the above to the mix, face it my friends, the poor defenseless rhino, being slaughtered at the current rate of two a day so far this year, doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell against the human scum..
    :redhot:
     
  9. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    I just came across another web site "Rhino Economics". The person behind this site argues that the worldwide ban on trade in Rhino horns has actually driven up the price of horns and thus fueled the poaching. He goes on to claim that conservation agencies and private individuals currently hold a stockpile of rhino horns equivalent to 15 - 30 years' supply of rhino horns. He also claims that existing rhino populations could sustainably meet the demand for horn. I don't know how accurate his claims may be since he does not cite any sources for his data.
    Overview | Rhino Economics

    A couple of thoughts struck me about this. First, if the worldwide ban on the trade of rhino horns was repealed, the stockpile could rapidly depress the price of horn and thus reduce the incentive for poachers. Second, if poaching was curtailed substantially, everyone currently profiting from the illegal trade would lose. Unfortunately, that includes many officials in African countries. Therefore, it seems like a given that certain governments would oppose the lifting of the ban in rhino horn.

    However, lifting the trade ban is an intriguing idea. Current efforts don't seem to be any more effective than America's "War on Drugs" and those of us in North America are well aware what a colossal waste of money that has been.
     
  10. Custom

    Custom GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I was told something similar by our PH when we were on our recent safari in the RSA. Apparently, rhinos regrow their horns if cut off. The idea was, legalize, regulate and tax the trade in horns. Game ranchers could then make a profit on it and, since the horns regrow, the practice woud be sustainable. The tax would fund efforts to police poaching activities, which would be drastically curtailed since the practice would be legal. I have not studied the issue deeply, but it made some sense to me. I can hear the screams from PETA, though. Better the rhinos die from poaching, I suppose.

    The idea is kind of like our war on drugs in the US. If we legalized and taxed the drugs, and took all of the resources we currently direct toward combating them (now funded by taxes on the drugs) toward education and support, I wonder if we would be better off.
     
  11. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well said, I agree with you!
     

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