The government is warning of retrospective action against those who fail to surrender illegally held firearms before the lapse of the amnesty period.
Speaking in Isiolo during a sensitization meeting that brought together peace ambassadors from Isiolo, Meru and Marsabit Counties, Eastern Region Deputy Regional Commissioner Dr Hassan Abdi said those in possession of illegal arms must surrender them by the close of September warning that the government will no longer make concessions in its war on illicit arms.
Abdi says the region has for years suffered the brunt of inter-tribal conflicts resulting from illicit firearms. He called on all those in possession of unlicensed firearms to present them to members of the National Government Administration or religious leaders before expiry of the September amnesty period that was announced by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
Marsabit Diocese Catholic Bishop Peter Kihara Kariuki who also chairs the Marsabit County Interfaith Council said religious leaders will play their role to sensitize their followers to make haste and hand over the illegal arms to the government.
Isiolo County Commissioner Herman Shambi calling on pastoralist communities in the upper eastern region to uphold the sanctity of life.
Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons Director Charlton Muriithi say his department will make appropriate recommendations to the government based on how illegal arms owners cooperate with the directive to surrender the weapons. Muriithi saying his office could make a raft of recommendations to the government including conducting a forceful disarmament exercise to recover illegal arms in the hands of civilians.
The two northern counties of Isiolo and Marsabit are among the most conflict-prone in Kenya often fuelled by competition over limited resources.