Uganda ivory trader jailed for life

A court in Uganda’s capital Kampala has sentenced an ivory trader to life in prison.

Pascal Ochiba was arrested in January this year with two pieces of ivory weighing nearly 10kg.

The magistrate said that Mr. Ochiba was a repeat offender and deserved the maximum sentence, for the future protection of endangered species.

In July 2017, Mr. Ochiba was arrested with four pieces of ivory and the skin of an okapi and sent to prison.

Okapi are rare forest animals with zebra-like markings and are endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority’s executive director, Sam Mwandha, described the ruling as a landmark achievement in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

In 2019, the country passed a law imposing life imprisonment for people convicted of poaching or trafficking in endangered species.

There are just over 7,900 elephants left in the wild in Uganda, and the species are endangered.

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