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CAPE TOWN – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday set alight more than 5 000 illegal firearms in a gesture to highlight the importance of peaceful resolutions to conflict.
Kenyatta set fire to 5144 illegal firearms, in addition to out-of-date state-owned guns, at the Regional Traffic Police Training Centre located in Ngong, west of the capital Nairobi, State House Kenya reported.
“A peaceful Kenya, a united Kenya is for the good of all of us. And that can only be achieved if we work together and find peaceful solutions through dialogue and through conversations which we, as a government, are more than happy to engage all Kenyan citizens,” Kenyatta said.
The president added that the security of Kenya is each citizen’s individual responsibility, next to their collective responsibility.
President Uhuru Kenyatta presides over the burning of 5,144 illegal firearms. pic.twitter.com/58SYOdpo1w
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) June 10, 2021
Dr Fred Matiang’i, cabinet secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination, commented that the burning of illegal firearms was police reform in action.
More than 8,000 guns were destroyed by the Kenyan government in 2019.
The majority of the illegal guns destroyed on Wednesday were manufactured in Kenya, the BBC reported.
Furthermore, Kenyatta offered those local manufacturers of the illegal weapons a legitimate job that will grow the economy and maintain safety in Kenya.
Kenyatta went on to warn the owners of illegal guns of dire consequences if they do not surrender them to the authorities under the government’s amnesty programme, according to State House Kenya.
“An illegal gun makes you less safe, not more. An illegal gun, no matter your good intentions, makes you a criminal and liable to face the full force of the law,” he said.