UWA Officer Killed As He Perused Ivory Traffickers

UWA Officer Killed As He Perused Ivory Traffickers

Conservationists are mourning the death of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) intelligence officer and investigator of wildlife crime Sgt Philemon Asasira who was shot by ivory traffickers near Queen Elizabeth National park on Friday night. Mr Asasira was killed as he pursued ivory traffickers in Bwambala, Rukungiri District. He died at Nyakibale Hospital last night. One

Conservationists are mourning the death of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) intelligence officer and investigator of wildlife crime Sgt Philemon Asasira who was shot by ivory traffickers near Queen Elizabeth National park on Friday night. Mr Asasira was killed as he pursued ivory traffickers in Bwambala, Rukungiri District. He died at Nyakibale Hospital last night. One of the traffickers was arrested but the killer escaped. “The very untimely loss of Philemon is indeed so saddening and disheartening. He was very humble, disciplined, hardworking and committed staff, who had very recently joined the investigations team from Intelligence and had the zeal to work with UWA. He was about to get his promotion from Sgt. to Assistant Warden. May his soul rest in eternal peace. International Wildlife Trafficking is dangerous. Let us say no to poaching and wildlife trafficking, “Uganda Wildlife Authority said in a statement. The Officer in charge of the Rukungiri Police Station Edwin Atukunda , said” Assasira  Philemon was shot dead when he and other three rangers were carrying out an operation to arrest poachers dealing in ivory trade. The dealers who were suspected to be armed instead opened gun fire on the UWA staff and in the exchange of fire, Assasira was shot and injured critically,” Mr Atukunda said. One suspected poacher from          Rwesigiro village in Kikarara parish in Bwambara was arrested by police. Kigezi Region police Spokesman, Mr Elly Maate, said on Saturday that the rangers had received intelligence information on the sale of ivory. They disguised as buyers and were led to the point where it was being kept. It’s from there that UWA staff decided to arrest the owner (of ivory) and in the process they realized that he had other people hiding. That’s when the armed staff started shooting in the air to scare them off and incidentally the Sgt who was struggling with the suspect was shot,” Mr Maate said.

By Andrew Mwanguhya, Monday, March 18th 2019, Daily Monitor

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