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1,200 illegal guns seized in Kenya every year

Only 5,000 firearms out of an estimated 700,000 have been confiscated from criminals in the past four years. This translates to 1,200 illegal firearms seized every year.

Efforts by the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons (KNFP) to curb proliferation of firearms have achieved little, as more people arm themselves just because their perceived enemies are armed.

KNFP Director William Atswenje Saiya said the seized firearms are in police custody  awaiting destruction, as disarmament continues in northern Kenya.

Mr Saiya considers the recovery rate an achievement, stating that a single firearm in the hands of a criminal was disastrous and the process of its recovery complicated.

SMALL ARMS

“If you consider the number of people who can lose their lives from just a single gun, you would know that 5,000 firearms is not a small number” he said.

He was speaking at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi during the launch of the Regional Centre on Small Arms, Recsa’s, project that is aimed at reducing the proliferation of small arms in the East African Region.

Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery said the reduction of illegal firearms would reduce poaching, terrorism, inter-community conflicts and robberies.

“The impact of small arms on development is costly as small arms are also used for the illegal trade in wildlife which reduces tourism” he said.

This story first appeared in the Daily Nation