Issa and Zoula, two ivory traffickers between Gabon and Congo

by Luc Mathot
Issa and Zoula, two ivory traffickers between Gabon and Congo

Last June 2014, Mr. BOLANGOUGA, an ecoguard at the ODZALA-KOKOUA Park (Congo) interrogated a certain ISSA aboard a motorcycle, on which stood a bag. When the guard approached the suspect; he fled, but later two points of ivory into six pieces were seized. Thanks to a good cooperation between the Congolese and Gabonese authorities, including the Mwagna National Park, the police brigade in Mekambo proceeded to the arrest of Mr. Sekou SISSAKOU alias Issa, on July 21st. He was of Congolese nationality but from Mali, a notorious trafficker known for his misdeeds.

The Congolese authorities confirm that Issa is indeed a wanted man and the name is one of the nicknames he uses to sell (buying and selling) ivory. Mr. Sekou SISSAKOU alias Issa was taken to the border at EKATA and handed over to the Congolese authorities for jurisdiction, July 25, 2014, by the gendarmerie and the National Parks Agency.

In August, he was finally tried and convicted by a court of EWO to five (5) years in prison. This file is in any case a good example of the result of good cooperation between the Gabonese and Congolese authorities on the fight against ivory trade in Central Africa.
Still in Congo, a Gabonese national Jean Claude Zoula was sentenced to three years in prison on July 3rd, and fined 200,000 CFA francs and two million CFA francs in damages to the Forestry Commission, this time at a Tribunal in Ouesso. He lives in Vadhy in Gabon but was arrested April 30, 2014 in a gold mining camp in Congo for trafficking and illegal possession of fully protected species (two ivory tusks).

They would have preferred to be sentenced in Gabon where the law provides for prison sentences of up to six months than for ivory trafficking.