Special force set up to deal with poachers

Wednesday August 7 2013

PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU A Kenya Wildlife Service warden examines elephant tusks outside the port police station in Mombasa after a container with 3.2 tonnes of tusks was intercepted by Kenya Revenue Authority officers on July 9, 2013.

PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU A Kenya Wildlife Service warden examines elephant tusks outside the port police station in Mombasa after a container with 3.2 tonnes of tusks was intercepted by Kenya Revenue Authority officers on July 9, 2013. The tusks, which had entered Kenya from Uganda, were destined for Malaysia. NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION REPORTER

The government has formed a special unit of security officers to fight poachers in the country’s leading national parks and reserves.

The special force named Elite Inter-Agency Anti-Poaching Unit is made up of officers from Kenya Wildlife Service, Administration Police and the General Service Unit.

The officers will be officially unveiled on Thursday by Environment, Water and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu at KWS headquarters in Nairobi.

Undergo training

The special unit, which comprises 121 officers, shall be under the command of KWS and will first undergo training at KWS Law Enforcement Academy.

They will be later deployed to poaching hotspots like Narok, Tsavo and Isiolo. (READ: Leaders raise the alarm over decline in Mara park animals)

The formation of the unit comes a week following the launch of a campaign, Hands Off Elephants, by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. The drive aims at protecting the jumbos from poachers.

KWS said the unit would be supported by the governments of Kenya, the US, China and the UK through their respective embassies in Nairobi.