African state, Kenya, reportedly destroyed at least 5,250 units of illegal firearms on Tuesday as part of efforts to fight crimes like cattle rustling, carjackings and to eliminate threats from terrorism. The legal weapons were put away with fire.
“Here in Kenya, small arms are implicated in many deaths, in acts of armed violence, among them inter community conflicts, cattle rustling, violent crimes and poaching,” Deputy President William Ruto said before the weapons were set ablaze.
The burning destroyed weapons confiscated by law enforcement officials or voluntarily surrendered to agents collecting illegal small arms and light weapons.
“Their presence has also intensified the threats posed by transnational crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking, piracy and drug trafficking,” he said in a speech.
Somalia’s ultra-hardline group al Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow the country’s Western-backed government and impose a self-proclaimed version of sharia law, has carried out regular assaults in neighboring Kenya in recent years as retaliation for Kenya contributing troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.
Kenya last burnt a similar collection of illegal weapons in 2003, 2005 and 2010.