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Experts to crackdown on illegal rhino horn trade in Vietnam, Mozambique

The two countries have with the highest profiles on the illegal trade of rhino horn.

Rhino in the Kruger National Park. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

PRETORIA - The United Nations body tasked with regulating endangered species is sending an expert team to Vietnam and Mozambique, the two countries with the highest profiles on the illegal trade of rhino horn.

If the team, from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, doesn't find significant progress in reducing the supply and demand for rhino horn, it could recommend sanctions.

Policy expert at the World Wildlife Fund Lee Henry commends the move made at the conference.

He says Cites only works when member governments hold each other accountable. He believes a strong message has been sent to Mozambique as a supplier of illegal rhino horn and Vietnam as the primary user of this commodity.

He says strong national governance is critical to disrupting national criminal networks that are threatening the population of the world's remaining rhino.