Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday set on fire some 5,144 illegal weapons as well as obsolete state-owned small arms and light weapons as part of efforts to fight crime.
Kenyatta noted that the recovery of illicit small arms and light weapons is in line with the African Union’s call for Silencing Guns in Africa by the year 2020.
He said although the AU target has not been fully achieved by the deadline, individual countries, Kenya included, have made excellent progress towards that goal.
The burning destroyed weapons confiscated by security officers or voluntarily surrendered to government agencies collecting illegal small arms and light weapons.
Kenyatta directed agencies that hold government firearms to ensure strict accountability and proper management as well as control of the arms under their charge so as to guard against pilferage, diversion, and misuse.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to continue weeding out illegal firearms, saying the state has a constitutional mandate to secure the lives of all Kenyans.
The Kenyan leader underlined the importance of peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue, saying the government is more than happy to engage all Kenyan citizens in such endeavors.
He warned that his government would not tolerate leaders who fuel inter-clan conflicts and blame it on terrorism.
Somalia’s terror group al-Shabab has carried out sporadic attacks in neighboring Kenya in recent years as retaliation for Kenya contributing troops to an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The continent is prone to small arms proliferation, which has, in turn, resulted in political and social unrest in most parts of the continent.