4 April 2014

Kenya: Uhuru Issues Two-Week Gun Ultimatum

Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
Turkana men armed with AK-47 rifles (file photo).

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday issued a two-week ultimatum to all people with illegal weapons to return them to the police.

Speaking at the Kiganjo Police Training College during the passing out parade of new recruits, President Kenyatta said after the deadline, whoever will be found with an illegal weapon "will have themselves to blame."

He made it clear that those who heed to amnesty will be pardoned.

"To those carrying illegal weapons that are not licensed, we are giving them two weeks to return them and they will be forgiven," he said.

"Whatever will happen after that to those who feel like not doing so, they will have themselves to blame."

This comes as the government tries to heighten security amid an outcry from the public over increased cases of insecurity.

Earlier on, President Kenyatta also warned that Kenya will no longer continue hosting refugees at the expense of peace and suffering of its innocent citizens.

He said the country hosts more than one million refugees in the spirit of good neighbourliness but this has brought pain and suffering through terror attacks which have killed and maimed many innocent Kenyans.

He castigated the terrorists' claims that Kenyan soldiers must withdraw from Somalia for terror to end, saying: "Kenyans weren't in Somalia when terrorists bombed the American Embassy in 1998; Kenyans were not in Somalia when they attacked Mombasa and shot at an aircraft in 2002," observed President Kenyatta.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said already, proactive strategies have been put in place to curb cases of crime in the country.

"The surge of organised crime, cyber crime and terrorists threat continue to pose a challenge to all of us in the country and also internationally," he pointed out.

"This is something we are doubling our efforts to ensure that we protect our citizens and provide a peaceful environment so that our country can develop."

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said the war against terror must be won, saying the government has the capacity to do so.

"The war on terror must be won... we have the spiritual well being, the mental power to have this country pursue the path our founding father dreamt of," he said.

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