Kenya to register all firearms in civilian hands

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 28, 2015
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The Kenyan government on Saturday announced plans to begin voluntary program to register all firearms in the hands of civilians.

Deputy President William Ruto said the move is aimed at taming banditry and cattle rustling activities among the pastoralists who have been feuding for many years over pasture and water for their animals.

"We have to take tough decisions to end cattle rustling if we are to catch up with the rest of Kenyans," Ruto said during the Pastoral Leaders Forum in Narok, southwest of Nairobi.

He said the government has come up with the voluntary program to ensure those in illegal possession of firearms register them so that they could easily be monitored.

"We have decided as a government to urge all those in possession of illegal guns to register them in the new strategy to contain insecurity." he said, adding that cattle rustling and banditry activities could have been eradicated if leaders demonstrated their seriousness in the war against the vice.

He asked leaders from pastoral areas to come up with new strategies and approaches in the fight against insecurity.

The deputy president said leaders must come out forcefully and confront the security challenges witnessed in the region by coming up with alternative solutions to the menace.

He said the national and county government would work together in initiating development projects that could provide an alternative source of income instead of relying on livestock alone for their survival.

Much of East Africa and the Horn of Africa is flooded with guns, predominantly small arms, and a large number of those weapons have spilled over into Kenya.

Since the late 1970s, the countries bordering Kenya to the north, namely, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, experienced long periods of unrest and internal armed conflict that saw a torrent of arms flow into the country.

Somalia has been a prominent source of arms since the early 1990s, with estimates for the volume of arms entering Kenya from Somalia being put at about 5,000 automatic rifles per month.

Ruto said the government has put in place firm security measures, including empowering the police officers through use of modern weapons in dealing with criminals undermining peace efforts.

"But as we put in place proper security measures including registration of all guns in wrong hands, we must also show our commitment in the war against the practice by exposing those behind such incidents," he said. Endi

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