Government burns illegal firearms

The Deputy President and other leaders said the pile was only a fraction of guns still owned by people without licences.

The government has burnt surrendered illegal firearms as Deputy President William Ruto warned people possessing guns illegally to hand them in.

At the Kenya Highway Training Institute in Ngong, Kajiado, the government set ablaze 5,250 guns collected mainly from herders and also from criminals. This followed its destruction of 80,000 rounds of ammunition recently.

“I am calling on all citizens in Kenya who have unlicensed firearms to voluntarily surrender them and I am personally persuaded that… what you are seeing here today, all this is a testimony that Kenyans are beginning to have confidence in the security that the government and all its agencies are providing,” Mr Ruto said.

“It is therefore important for the rest to follow suit ensure that we surrender all firearms that are not registered.”

Joseph ole Nkaissery, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, said: “We would like people to surrender these guns before we take action”.

He said: “I am giving a warning that those with arms without licence must surrender them. If they don’t want, maybe they want to go to jail for some years. It is their choice”.

The guns were being destroyed as part of Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, a programme launched by the United Nations in 2001 to eliminate small arms among communities around the world.

UN member states, after a conference in New York in 2001 agreed to promote “responsible action by States with a view to preventing the illicit export, import, transit and retransfer of small arms and light weapons”.

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