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KWS rangers killed in line of duty honoured at UN meeting
Date Published: 06 Mar, 2013
An ongoing United Nations meeting on wildlife trade has posthumously honoured 13 Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers killed in the line of duty. They were awarded with the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at a ceremony during the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference at Bangkok, Thailand.
The award ceremony was held at Queen Sirikit National Conference Centre to honour the KWS rangers, and nine other recipients from around the world, on Tuesday (March 5, 2013). The ceremony was presided over by CITES Secretary General, Mr. John E. Scanlon.
Dr. Samuel Kasiki, the KWS Deputy Director in charge of Biodiversity, Research and Monitoring, received the award on behalf of the departed heroes.
This year’s recipients included Ranger Mohamed Osman Abdi, Ranger Bernard Mwakio, Cpl Adan Sheikh Mohamed, Ranger Seneu Ole Narankaik, Ranger Daniel Njagi, Pilot/Capt. Moses Lelesit, Ranger Gabriel Mghalu Malemba, Ranger Haron Kipyegon Langa, Cpl Koyati Parsaip, Sgt Bake Alio Adan, Ranger Florence Hadia Abae, Ranger Francis Otieno Ochieng, and Cpl Dismas Kimtai.
Ranger Florence Hadia Abae was the first KWS female ranger to be killed in the line of duty. She was killed alongside a male colleague while patrolling one of the Taita ranches last March.
The two AK 101 rifles, three magazines and 20 rounds of ammunitions that were stolen from them were recovered last month buried in a bush at Kiziki area near Bombi village in Malindi County following a tip off from members of the public. Three magazines and 20 rounds of ammunitions were also recovered. Earlier engagements with local elders in Bangale village in Tana River County yielded to the surrender of the second rifle and an empty magazine in January 4, 2013.
In 2007, Mr Samson Ole Sisina a KWS ranger, who was killed while on an undercover operation against illegal game meat trade in Naivasha was among eight other people honoured with the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at CITES conference held in The Hague for “fighting wildlife crime with diligence, professionalism, trust and integrity, and in remembrance of his ultimate sacrifice in protecting the wildlife of Kenya”.
The Bavin Award, named after a former chief of the law enforcement division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recognizes accomplishments in combating wildlife crime involving species protected under the CITES treaty. It is presented during the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to deserving recipients working in the field of wildlife law enforcement across the globe. It is sponsored by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), under the umbrella of Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of over 80 non-governmental organizations, including AWI.
A Kenyan delegation, headed by Mr. Gideon Gathara, the Conservation Secretary in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, is attending the 16th CITES conference.