IOM under the auspices of the UN Human Security Trust Fund (UNHSF) on 22 October participated in an evaluation and closing ceremony of Turkana County state arms marking project, organized and implemented by UNDP.
The process was a culmination of a 37 day exercise meant to mark government owned arms in the County and subsequently feed the information into the national data bank in a bid to address the proliferation of small arms in the region.
Once they fall under the wrong hands, the guns will now be easily traced following enhanced security features inscribed on the guns.
Arms’ marking is one of the obligations on which the Government of Kenya is fulfilling as member state to International, Regional and Sub-Regional instruments in addressing the problem of proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons.
Marking of State owned firearms in the Kenya commenced in the year 2010. As at present, the exercise has covered 37 Counties and another 10 Counties are yet to be covered.
“I’m a worried person due to the illegal firearms in Turkana County. My vision is for Turkana County to be a firearm free zone. The arms should only be a preserve for the security agencies,” said Mr. Julius Mathenge, Turkana County Commissioner.
The targeted firearms under the Kenya Police Service, Administration Police Service, Kenya Prisons Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service and the National Police Reserves within the entire Turkana County other than those owned by the Kenya Defence Forces.
Mathenge who is also the chair of the County security committee bemoaned the insecurity problem facing the County due to the proliferation of small arms which is sustaining protracted communal conflict. However, he hailed the marking exercise project and exuded confidence it’s one of the interventions that will contribute in taming the insecurity problem in the area.
The security features of the marked gun include a special bar code, service number, country code, service code among others.
The gun marking exercise is part of projects supported under a 6.1 Million USD 3-year project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. The organizations supporting activities to improve human security include UNDP, IOM UNICEF, ILO, FAO and WHO.
UNDP and National Drought Management Authority in collaboration with the government led the gun marking exercise.