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The Kenyan government said on Sunday that it will lobby for a total ban on ivory trade during the 17th meeting of conference of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which kicked off in South Africa on Saturday.

State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said international efforts are needed to deal with illegal trade in ivory products which he said drives supply and demand.

"The trade is simple. Demand for illegal products drives supply. Deal with the trade, requires aggressive law enforcement, effective elephant ivory and rhino horn movement control and influential market dis-incentivisation," he told journalists in Nairobi.

"So, we will aggressively seek a total ban on ivory trade at this Johannesburg CITES meeting," said Esipisu during his weekly briefings.

He said the East African nation will lobby the international community to back its proposals on putting an end to trade in trophies during the high level summit.

He said Nairobi remains committed to playing its rightful role in ensuring that international trade in endangered species does not threaten survival of wildlife species like elephants.

Kenya is a member of the African elephant coalition that has lobbied the international community to support a ban on ivory trade ahead of CITES meeting in Johannesburg.

The coalition will submit a set of proposals at the CITES meeting calling on governments and multilateral agencies to strengthen protection of elephants through outlawing trade in trophies.