KENYA: Concern over increase in illegal arms after post-poll violence

KENYA: Concern over increase in illegal arms after post-poll violence

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
A boy plays with mud pistols in Nairobi’s Mathare slum: The post-election violence in January and February led to an increase in illegal guns in circulation across the country

NAIROBI, 26 May 2008 (IRIN) – Very little has been done to check the increase in illegal guns in parts of Kenya that were hardest hit by the post-election crisis, an official of a peace and development NGO said on 23 May.

“The small arms problem is bigger at this point than at any other time in our country’s history, especially owing to the post-election violence, which created new markets for illegal arms more than ever before,” Mutuku Nguli, chief executive of the Peace and Development Network (Peace-Net), said. “The danger is these arms may not necessarily be in use currently but could be used for the wrong reasons in the near or distant future.”

Nguli said efforts to check the increase in arms had begun in parts of Rift Valley Province, with the expected induction on 28 May of 105 reformed Pokot warriors in West Pokot district. This, he said, follows the surrender of arms this month in West Pokot. Nine guns were recovered in the district in April, he said.

Nguli added that the arms surrender and induction of reformed warriors were some of the activities planned to mark the Global Week of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons from 2-9 June. Continue reading