Kenya Gives Shoot to Kill Order for Illegal Firearms Owners

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The Kenyan Government has issued a shoot to kill order for those found in possession of illegal firearms in conflicted parts of the country.

The order comes after a run of conflicts between armed rival gangs in the Isiolo, Meru and Samburu counties, which have killed scores of people and seen thousands of livestock stolen. A recent deadline for gun owners in the counties to register their firearms hasn’t prompted a single registration so far.

 

No firearms registered

“The government gave an amnesty for registration of firearms but to date none has been registered despite the heavy presence of guns among Samburu and Turkana pastoralists,” Isiolo County Commissioner, George Natembeya, told press. “We will use force to ensure these firearms are recovered and normalcy restored.”

It has previously been estimated that 700,000 illegal firearms are in circulation, most of which are claimed to be actively used in violent crimes. However, Commissioner Natembeya was firm to warn people against carrying illegal weapons and promised strong action for those caught with unregistered guns.

“Carrying a gun is tantamount to carrying death as your days will be numbered,” he said in an address on Thursday.

 

A call to end the violence

Gun fights in the counties of Isiolo, Meru and Samburu have become an increasing problem of late. Clan conflicts – often over contentious issues like land or territory –  have become a bloody affair. More than 50 people were killed and 1,000s of livestock stolen between attacks in Isiolo and Samburu late last year.

Last month a clash between Isiolo’s Borana clan and Meru’s Igembe left 12 people dead and over 1,000 livestock stolen from either side.

 

Featured image:

LakeTurkanaSouthIsland” by User:DoronOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.