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More firearms surrendered in Trans Mara disarmament

By JAMES KAHONGEH
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By RUTH MBULA
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The government has recovered more than 100 firearms and nearly 300 rounds of ammunition in the first round of a disarmament exercise in Trans Mara East Sub-County in Narok County.

The arms were surrendered to the government by locals who have illegally been keeping them for years. 

Police launched the operation after the killing of a Kenya Wildlife Service ranger in June as he watched a World Cup match in a bar.

Areas such as Kilgoris are notorious for illegal firearms, a situation that has traditionally fuelled cattle rustling, banditry and border disputes.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (in pink shirt) andInterior CS Fred Matiang’i (in pink shirt) and security officers look at some of the surrendered firearms in Trans Mara, Narok County on August 10, 2018. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEY | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Proliferation of firearms in the sub county is blamed on the porous border between Kenya and Tanzania.

Attempts by the government to reclaim illegal firearms in the past in the area have faced resistance from local leaders, turning the exercise into a political tug-of-war pitting communities in Narok County.

illegal, firearmsThe cache of weapons surrendered by Trans Mara locals in ongoing disarmament exercise. Residents have until September 2, 2018 to voluntarily surrender illegal firearms. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEY | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government hopes to recover all firearms in the hands of citizens by end of this year.

“Those who still hold on to illegal firearms should prepare themselves for a government crackdown that will spare no one,” Mr Matiang’i said.

illegal, fiirearmsPolice launched disarmament operation after the killing of a Kenya Wildlife Service ranger in June as he watched a World Cup match in a bar. PHOTO | JAMES KAHONGEY | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Dr Matiang’i was accompanied to Kilgoris by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.