Kenya: Disarmament fears of pastoralists

Pastoralists in northern Kenya have called for protection, amid fears that a government-enforced disarmament programme will lead to violence. A 70-day amnesty to surrender illegal weapons has expired. The Daily Nation newspaper reported that residents of Archer's Post in Sambura East District feared the continuing search for weapons would lead to police brutality. But Judy Waruhiu of the IANSA Women's Network stressed the importance of the disarmament process. "It is encouraging to see that numerous weapons have been voluntarily handed over, however the region is volatile and communities feel that government cannot meet the security needs. The states which neighbour the Isiolo region, and are also affected by cattle rustling, should develop regional programmes. Pastoralism has been a lifestyle for centuries and there is a need to engage more effectively with it in East Africa." More