Samburu residents urged to surrender unlicensed firearms

Illegal guns

Guns surrendered during a past disarmament exercise.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Security agencies have extended amnesty to residents of Samburu County who are willing to surrender illegal firearms in their possession, even as a forceful disarmament and mop up exercise looms.

County police commander Samson Ogelo said that no charges will be preferred against those who surrender the illegal arms within the amnesty period.

“I urge Samburu locals, especially those in conflict zones where we believe there are illegal guns to surrender them. We know the dangers of guns in the wrong hand. The government is the sole authority in providing security," Mr Ogelo said.

Mr Ogelo said Samburu has made great progress in security, which he attributed to the good working relationship among leaders, citizens and government agencies.

He revealed that 17 illegal firearms have been surrendered between the months of November and January this year, noting that residents have been repentant and cooperated with security agencies.

The police boss praised residents for surrendering the arms, saying they were being used to kill and steal livestock, fuelling conflict among communities. Mr Ogelo said it was against the law for residents to continue possessing firearms without government permission.

According to Mr Ogelo, they will continue to engage locals in meetings together with other local administrators to educate them on the need to surrender the firearms.

"We will engage locals leadership and local administration to sensitise them on the need to surrender the weapons in this period," he said.

Mr Ogelo assured residents that police will provide them with enough security and said there is no need to have firearms to protect themselves.

The officer called on residents to keep surrendering the weapons warning that the government will use force once the amnesty period elapses.

Northern part of Samburu, especially in Baragoi, is volatile after a series of raids by armed bandits that left behind massive deaths and losses. Political leaders recently criticized the government for its decision to disarm police reservists. But the government defended the disarmament saying that some rogue police reservists were behind the insecurity in the Northern part of Kenya.