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61 Arrested in Crackdown on Illegal Charcoal Dealers, Loggers

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Xavier Sekanabo told URN that the dealers who are from as far as Central, Western and Eastern Uganda didn’t any documents authorisation to trade or transport forest species. He disclosed that the suspects are detained in Gulu and Amuru Central Police Stations
Xavier Sekanabo standing behind some of the heaps of logs ready for charcoal buring. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Sixty-one people are in police custody following a crackdown on suspected illegal charcoal dealers and loggers in Northern Uganda. The suspects were picked up in a joint operation led by the Environmental Police Protection Unit and the National Forestry Authority (NFA), which was sanctioned by the Ministry of Water and Environment.  

Fifteen suspects were picked up from Apaa Junction in Adjumani district on Saturday while cutting trees from Wii Ceri Forest Reserve while six were arrested from Amuru district along Awere-Olwal road while transporting charcoal and logs. Seventeen suspects were picked up from Omel and Paibona Sub Counties in Gulu district, eight from Lamwo and 15 from Pader district.    

The weeklong operation was commanded by Xavier Sekanabo from the Environmental Police Protection Unit who has pitched camp in Northern Region.  The officers also destroyed thousands of logs and charcoal they found in the camps of the illegal dealers.  The team also recovered power saws and other rudimentary tools used by the illegal dealers to indiscriminately cut trees for charcoal and logs.    

Xavier Sekanabo told URN that the dealers who are from as far as Central, Western and Eastern Uganda didn’t any documents authorisation to trade or transport forest species.  He disclosed that the suspects are detained in Gulu and Amuru Central Police Stations.  Sekanabo said that the files of the suspects are ready for sanctioning next week.

//Cue in: ‘’We have come…  

Cue out: …others in Teso,’’//  

Sekanabo said the operation stemmed from a public outcry about the destruction of the forest cover in Northern Uganda especially the endangered tree species including shea nut, mahogany and Africana Afzelia.  

//Cue in: …our aim is…  



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Jimmy Ouna, the Aswa River Range Manager comprising Acholi, West Nile, Karamoja and parts of Lango sub-regions said that the magnitude of forest destruction in the area is alarming.  He appealed for massive sensitization of the public on the dangers of forest destruction. 

//Cue in: they are cutting…    

Cue out: …will not regenerate’’//