DISARMAMENT

Villagers surrender three more guns in Marsabit operation

They surrendered two Ak-47 assault rifles and a G3 rifle, with 14 bullets

In Summary
  • Security agencies are in possession of 14 assault rifles, a general purpose machine gun, 617 rounds of assorted ammunitions and other crude weapons.
  • More than ten suspects are facing various charges in connection with the recoveries made so far and killings that have happened in the area.
The three weapons that were surrendered in Turbi, Marsabit on Friday, May 13.
OPERATION REJESHA AMANI MARSABIT: The three weapons that were surrendered in Turbi, Marsabit on Friday, May 13.
Image: NPS

Villagers in Bubisa, Marsabit county surrendered three more guns to security agencies conducting an operation for illegal weapons.

Through their chief Joseph Jirm, the elders surrendered two Ak-47 assault rifles and a G3 rifle, with 14 bullets on Friday.

The residents were heeding a call by the government to embrace peace as the surest way of assuring sustainable development.

This is part of an ongoing Operation Rejesha Amani Marsabit aimed at restoring peace and security in the area and neigbouring Isiolo county.

The security team conducting the operation is now in possession of 14 assault rifles, a general purpose machine gun, 617 rounds of assorted ammunitions and other crude weapons illegally held by residents.

The recoveries were made in various subcounties of Marsabit between May 10 and 13.

The officers in the operation said they had also burst a racket of drug traffickers and recovered a large haul of marijuana.

Police and administrative officers in the operation agreed to sustain awareness forums aimed at urging residents to voluntarily surrender arms.

They say the operation is not meant to target any community but to fish out criminals in the entire county.

More than ten suspects are facing various charges in connection with the recoveries made so far and killings that have happened in the area.

It is believed the guns were behind some of the attacks witnessed in the past months, which left a trail of deaths and displacement.

The exercise has seen calm return to the region with almost nil incidents being reported in the past weeks, police said.

The operation is being led by security teams drawn from the GSU, the Rapid Deployment Unit, the Quick Response Unit and the Anti Stock Theft Unit.

The month-long operation started on May 2 and will be extended ended to Sololo where suspected Oromo Liberation Front militias are active.

Other areas include Kom and Merti in Isiolo county.

Regional police boss Rono Bunei said the exercise is going on well and they have identified and arrested some of those behind the violence.

Bunei said they had recorded almost nil incidents since the operation was launched. “We are determined to continue for the sake of peace.”

The operation was launched after six people were killed in a Marsabit attack on April 28.

The six include Loglogo senior chief Kennedy Kongoman, an assistant chief and four others. The victims were in pursuit of stolen animals.

At least three people are facing murder charges over the attack.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said the operation will run in tandem with a disarmament exercise targeting illegal guns and ammunition.

Matiang'i said the National Security Council decided to launch “Operation Rejesha Amani Marsabit” following incessant inter-ethnic attacks.

He said the assailants have defied peace initiatives including the lapse of the 30-day window sought by county leaders to secure reconciliation.

The animosity between the Borana and Gabra communities has progressively boiled over and Matiang’i has expressed concerns over political leaders who have frustrated previous attempts to pacify the area.

The CS said rival groups have been armed and transformed into competitive political militias, meting out violence on innocent civilians.

He said the resultant is a costly security challenge in the country.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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