The Kenyan government has ordered for the forceful disarmament of residents in volatile areas of Laikipia and neighbouring counties in an effort to reduce increasing insecurity in the region, reports the Nation.
A disarmament exercise that kicks off immediately will be carried out in order to recover all unlicensed firearms in the hands of criminals and bandits,” said Amos Gathecha, the secretary for security and operations in the Interior ministry
Police officers in the region have been directed to seize all illegal firearms in possession of civilians and deal firmly with the culprits.
The order came after a high level security meeting following clashes between Samburu and Turkana communities over pasture and cattle rustling which left seven dead and 800 livestock stolen over the past week.
Residents have welcomed the disarmament plot hoping for safety since herders have also invaded private farms and ranches in search of pasture creating conflict thus attacks.
“The government has deployed enough security personnel who are facilitated with high armoured vehicles in this area to begin the exercise and am sending you elders to go and advice members of your communities to cooperate,” Mr Gathecha said while in Laikipia
The government hopes to restore peace in the area and has called to residents to cooperate with security agencies. In addition those involved in cattle rustling will be arrested and face the full force of the law in order to discourage others from participating in similar acts.
“Though it is a very painful decision considering the nature under which the exercise is always being carried, these guns must be taken from the hands of these criminals because innocent residents and venerable people among them children, women and elderly people have suffered in the hands of bandits,” said Laikipia West MP Wachira Karani