Kucinich goes after ivory poachers

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) wants Uganda's ambassador to the United States to answer questions about the slaughter earlier this year of 22 elephants at Garamba National Park.

The congressman's letter follows a Sept. 3 New York Times report suggesting the U.S.-funded Ugandan military could have been behind the March 15 slaughter, which is estimated to have netted more than $1 million in ivory. The Obama administration has awarded tens of millions of dollars in military aid to Uganda over the past four years and sent 100 military advisers to the region to hunt for Joseph Kony, whose Lord's Resistance Army is a main player in the ivory poaching epidemic now threatening Africa's elephants, fueled by Asia's growing middle class.

“It is imperative that we do all that we can to protect the lives and future populations of the elephant,” Kucinich wrote to Perezi Kamunanwire. “The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) is conducting an investigation into this mass elephant killing. I ask that you fully cooperate with this investigation and work to protect the endangered elephant population.

“I look forward to hearing from you regarding any information you may have regarding this incident.”