INSECURITY

Cattle rustling major barrier to rooting out illegal arms

State can eradicate them by educating public on their dangers

In Summary

• Amnesties given by the government to surrender them only help in recovering only the old and rusty weapons. 

• Illegal arms result from porous borders with neighbouring nations. 

Civilians watch as an assortment of 5,250 illicit firearms and small weapons, recovered during various security operations burns during its destruction in Ngong Hills
LOSING BATTLE?: Civilians watch as an assortment of 5,250 illicit firearms and small weapons, recovered during various security operations burns during its destruction in Ngong Hills
Image: FILE

A survey carried out by Africa Amnesty way back shows that there are between 550,000 and 650,000 illegal firearms in the hands of civilians in Kenya.

A major cause of illegal arms is porous borders with the neighbouring countries. Through these borders, pastoral communities have been able to acquire guns to protect their livestock and also steal livestock from other communities.

These illegal guns too find their way into urban centres and are used by criminals. Eradicating these arms is impossible as the many amnesties given by the government to surrender them only help in recovering only the old and rusty weapons.

So long as cattle rustling flourishes among the pastoral communities, eradication of illegal arms and ammunition remains a pipe dream.

 

Nairobi