1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa

Authorities pledge crackdown on illegal firearms

The governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have embarked on a programme to register authorised firearms as part of an East African regional effort to place tight controls on gun trafficking and curb increasing crime. Peter Kimanthi, Kenya's police spokesman, told IRIN on Monday that the three East African countries were experiencing an increased proliferation of illegal firearms in the region. These were being used for armed robberies and cattle rustling, although the numbers of firearms were not known. The registration process is part of a coordinated approach to curb the increased misuse of firearms in the region, under the auspices of the East African Chiefs of Police Committee, which meets annually to discuss regional security issues, Kimanthi said. He said legal firearms would be registered under two categories, notably those possessed by government security forces and privately-owned licensed guns. "We only have two categories under registration," he stressed. "Any other possession outside these categories is illegal. This is a process that is meant to control the possession of firearms in the region." The Ugandan government also announced on Monday that it would begin "a full scale" registration of all firearms in the country. "We want to establish the number of guns in the hands of the police, the army, and the intelligence services, and we shall do this through registration and computerisation," said Uganda's first deputy prime minister Eriya Kategeya, according to the government-owned 'New Vision' daily. Meanwhile, the Tanzanian police said they had discovered that home-made guns had been improved and could use modern ammunition, and were increasingly being used in robberies in the country. Tanzanian radio reported on Monday that investigations by the police had found an increase in the workshops where the guns were being manufactured.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.