Govt to begin disarmament in northern frontier regions
08 January 2015, 08:08
Nairobi - The government said on Wednesday it will soon carry out a disarmament exercise in the northern frontier districts to eradicate banditry and inter-tribal skirmishes.
Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security Joseph Nkaissery said the state will mop up small and light weapons that have fueled insecurity in the northern region.
"The government will be decisive in a bid to protect citizens and has developed a comprehensive program to recover illegal firearms in counties affected by banditry," Nkaissery told journalists after holding a consultative meeting with leaders from northern Kenya to discuss peace and security.
Leaders from seven counties in northern Kenya endorsed a comprehensive blue print to promote peace, inter-ethnic harmony and development.
Proliferation of small arms is to blame for tribal skirmishes and cattle rustling in Kenya's northern frontier districts.
Nkaissery said the government will partner with community leaders to mop up illegal weapons in the nomadic regions.
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"Communities will be involved in the disarmament exercise and local administrators will help the government identify individuals in possession of illegal weapons," Nkaissery said.
He said the country's security forces will intensify the hunt for bandits who possess a large stockpile of small and light weapons.
"Bandits who have stolen government arms have been given an ultimatum to surrender them or face unspecified action. These guns should be returned as soon as possible," said Nkaissery, adding that the Ministry of Internal Security will invest in research and intelligence gathering to ascertain the flow of illegal weapons in counties affected by cattle rustling.
Nkaissery noted that banditry economy has thrived in the northern region thanks to influx of small arms from strife torn neighboring countries.
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