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11 Arrested in Gulu for Destroying Endangered Tree Species

They were arrested from different camps in Paibona Sub County on Saturday during an operation against illegal charcoal dealers and loggers.
Xavier Sekanabo standing behind some of the heaps of logs ready for charcoal buring. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Eleven people have been arrested for destroying various endangered tree species in Gulu district. 

They were arrested from different camps in Paibona Sub County on Saturday during an operation against illegal charcoal dealers and loggers. 

The operation was sanctioned by the Ministry of Water and Environment in partnership with the National Forestry Authority and the environmental police led by Xavier Sekanabo. 

Some of them include Johnson Ssejemba and Musa Nsubuga who are said to have been masterminds of logging and charcoal dealings in the area.

They have all been locked up at Gulu Central Police Station awaiting charges of illegal destruction of forest species as per section 32 of the National Forestry Act. 

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The suspects were found in possession of rudimentary tools which they reportedly use to indiscriminately cut down trees for charcoal and logs.

Xavier Sekanabo who led the operation told URN that some of the suspects fled from their different areas of operation when they learnt of the operation from informers. 

He disclosed that the week-long operation is being conducted in Acholi and Lango Sub Regions as well as parts of Soroti district.

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The team also destroyed the dealers` camps and hundreds of charcoal bags and heaps of logs cut from the different endangered tree species including shea tree, Mvule and mahogany among others from the different areas. 

Jimmy Ouna, the NFA Manager Aswa River Range composing Acholi and Lango said that the magnitude of tree destruction in the region is alarming.

He appealed for  mass sensitization of the public against indiscriminately destroying natural trees on large scale and the need for re-afforestation.

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Cue out: …is one thing.’’//Richard Watmon, the Paibona Sub County Chairperson said that they have been struggling to contain the illicit business in the area due to lack of manpower to effect arrest.