After spending almost 3 hours with an astute and seemingly well-informed national of Mozambique on Easter Monday – over a beer and burger in Durban – I’ve now gained a far greater insight into some of the complexities of illicit trade in wildlife, diamonds and arms in our region.
This blog offers some background as to why SA faces a poaching onslaught mainly from Mozambique nationals targeting Kruger National Park, and this all links back to the historical FRELIMO-RENAMO armed conflict there, plus rising tensions in the country again as their elections loom next year.
Whilst I am deeply concerned about rhino-poaching and links to Mozambique nationals – plus, of course, illegal ivory trade (and poaching) regionally from elephants – I’m also acutely aware of how controlled trade in Marange diamonds fuels human rights abuses in my motherland.
It was this specific issue that led to a trusted Zim rights activist connecting ‘X’ (as I shall call him) and I over the Easter weekend.
What I learned from ‘X’ can seemingly be validated by some simple online research and it gives some real context to 3 rights activist groups, namely human rights activists in Zimbabwe, animal rights activists in SA and beyond, and human rights activists in Mozambique...