The African state of Gabon on 16 February 2013 decided to suspend the sale of large-calibre arms and ammunitions to stem elephant poaching in the country. Last week, a study showed that in Gabon, which hosts more than half of Africa's forest elephants, at least 20,000 elephants have been killed by poachers for their ivory during the last decade.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, some of the money raised through the illegal poaching in Africa is used to finance armed groups. Trade in elephant ivory has been outlawed since 1989. During the 1980s, more than half of Africa's elephants were wiped out, mostly by poachers hunting for ivory.
But in January 1990, countries across the globe signed up to an international ban on the trade in ivory. Global demand decreased in the face of a worldwide public awareness campaign. As a result, Elephant populations began to increase again. But in recent years, this has been reversed. According to an estimate, 25000 elephants were killed in 2011. The figures for 2012 are still being calculated, but they are likely to be higher.
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