AMBOSELI TRUST FOR ELEPHANT COMES OUT IN SUPPORT OF SOILA SAYIALEL
(Posted 12th July 2013)
Although the matter at hand is sub judice in Kenya, has the Amboseli Trust for Elephant come out with a statement of support on behalf of their long time member Soila Sayialel, who alongside her son Robert was arrested some weeks ago after ivory was found in their car. Suggestions have been aplenty since then that this was a set up of sorts and the ivory had been planted at them. Being nonresident in Kenya, this can be said here without being affected by the sub judice rule in effect inside Kenya’s borders which would otherwise prevent substantive comments about an ongoing court case.
ATE’s understandably low key commentary is shown here and I am sure that readers will be able to ‘read between the lines’ of what is being said without being in conflict with the sub judice rules which otherwise might end ATE up in court too with contempt of court charges:
‘Everyone by now has heard the sad news that one of our oldest and most loyal team members,
Soila Sayialel and her son, Robert Ntawuasa, were arrested on May 12 allegedly for possessing
and attempting to sell 19 kg of ivory. The whole ATE team, and huge numbers of Soila’s
supporters in Kenya and abroad are in a state of shock, disbelief, and most importantly, in total
support of their innocence.
We can say very little at this point as the case is sub judice, but we feel to our Newsletter family
of readers we must state the following:
We are 100% behind these two ardent conservationists, who have been for many years (more
than 25 in Soila’s case) an example of the kinds of dedication and energy that a growing number
of today’s Kenyans, in particular women and youth, are willing and able to put into conservation
of their natural resources and ecosystems.
We are confident that given what appears to be absurdly weak evidence for the prosecution the
case will be dismissed very soon. It is not only in our laypersons’ view that the episode appears
to be a frame-up.
We believe that given the dreadful expansion of the illegal trade of ivory into the realm of
international crime, the whole sorry event is likely to be the result of criminal elements seeking
to defame ATE and drive a wedge between ATE and KWS. Why? Because together, ATE with its
eyes and presence in the ecosystem and KWS with its mandate and ranger force stand between
the poachers and what must be the last source of ‘big ivory’ in Kenya, if not the East African
region. Remove us, and it’s open season on the Amboseli elephants.
Please bear with us. We are confident that the truth will out very soon. Thanks for your understanding.
Be certain to watch this space for the eventual outcome of the pending case, if dismissed outright for lack of evidence or alternatively, should the trial go ahead.