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Friday, July 30, 2021

Government to mop up illegal firearms in North Eastern Counties

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Security agencies in Northern Kenya counties of Marsabit, Wajir and Isiolo plans a major disarmament exercise to mop up illegal guns and tame runaway cases of banditry and cattle rustling.

Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i stated that proliferation of illegal firearms among the communities is one of the biggest security challenges facing the region.

Matiang’i noted that the police were pursuing illegal gun owners and the politicians behind the lawlessness in the expansive region.

“Possession of illegal firearms among the communities has been a major contributory factor to the frequent inter-communal conflicts in Marsabit and the neighboring counties and we have plans to launch an immediate disarmament in those regions,” said Matiang’i.

The Interior boss further revealed that 342 firearms were surrendered during a voluntary disarmament undertaken in the region last year.

Political battles for the control of power and devolved resources have also been blamed for the escalating ethnic tensions in the Northern region.

And now the government has unveiled plans to set up police stations and posts in vast areas where government presence has in the past not been felt.

According to the plans, police officers born in the region will be delocalized (transferred to other places) to defuse tensions, alongside a crackdown on and monitoring of social media users and vernacular FM Stations.

Meanwhile, Community Initiative and Facilitation Assistance (CIFA Kenya) Chief Executive Officer Adan Waqo has blamed insecurity in the region on entrenched selfish political and economic interests.

 “There are many cartels benefitting from the conflicts in Marsabit and disarmament alone can’t restore peace,” said Waqo.

Marsabit County Police Commander Samuel Mutunga accused the local communities of shielding criminals.

In efforts to tame terror attacks, CS Matiang’i also met the leadership of Mandera County to strategize on how to curb al-Shabaab attacks.

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