The Star (Nairobi)

19 April 2012

Kenya: Nomadic Pastoralists Told to Return Firearms

The government has sounded alarm bells over the record number of firearms in illegal hands in the country. The ministry of internal security says ... ( Resource: Alarming Number of Illegal Firearms in Kenya

NOMADIC pastoralists living in the arid and semi-arid areas have been asked to surrender all illegal arms.

Reading a speech on behalf of the Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security George Saitoti during the opening of a two-day sensitisation workshop on the disarmament of pastoralists yesterday in Nakuru, Assistant Minister Simon Lesirma directed nomads to give up their small arms, light weapons and ammunitions to the police.

Lesirma said the proliferation of arms in these arid and semi-arid regions has occassioned constant insecurity incidents. "The proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons occasioned by social, economic, political and cultural factors that have outlived their usefulness amongst the communities has resulted in persistent insecurity occurences in these areas dominated by nomadic pastoralist communities," said Lesirma. This, he noted, has stalled the "development progress" of the communities that continue struggle for scarce resources.

In order to fast track growth in these regions,he called upon the residents to give in all the arms they illegally posses and engage in the income generating projects to sustaim themselves.

Lesirma said there is need for cooperation from neighbouring countries in the efforts to disarm the communities and promote peace. "As a joint initiative through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region created by 11 member states, the leaders have committed themselves to work towards ending insecurity in these regions.We must realize that as a country on our own cannot fully sustain peace in these areas without the support of our neighbouring countries," noted the assistant minister.

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