Important Warning On CAR. Plus Other News


Published: June - 2007

The flashpoint country in Africa this month is Central African Republic, where a truly scary shooting has left a French PH and the wife of a local tracker dead. Three other Central Africans were wounded as well. Just how and why the shooting occurred is very much in dispute. And that dispute, as much as the event itself, leaves me very concerned about the safety of hunters going to parts of Central African Republic.

Fortunately, as this is written, the season in CAR is winding down. That makes it unnecessary for me to attempt to differentiate which areas of the country are safe and which ones aren't. And that is a good thing, as I would assuredly be tempted to issue my first-ever Countrywide Stay Away Warning if hunters were still poised to go to CAR this spring. By this winter, when the new season begins, perhaps a way forward from this recent tragedy can be found.

Here, in brief, is what happened. In late April, a safari car driven by French PH Daniel Breyton was fired upon by Sudanese poachers as it made its way to Ndele in the northern part of CAR. Depending on who you ask the safari operators or Hunting Report subscriber Steve Kobrine, who was in the area the shooting was either an accident or a deliberate ambush. It is the outfitters who say the shooting was an accident, and by that they mean the poachers were surprised by the appearance of the safari car, which they mistook for a vehicle belonging to a local anti-poaching team. They say the shooting was purely in mistaken self defense thus, an accident.

Steve Kobrine, who traveled down the same road where the shooting occurred less than an hour earlier, says the poachers deliberately ambushed the vehicle in retaliation for a local shoot-to-kill anti-poaching effort supported by the safari operators. He says the head of that anti-poaching effort a former Russian Special Forces officer told him one of the poachers, after the ambush, ran up to the........(continued)

 
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