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Small Forearms Proliferation In Northern Kenya Record Essay

The solo most serious security concern facing the entire world and Kenya specifically today is the proliferation and flow of illicit small hands and light weapons. By virtue of their easy availability, relative cheapness, technical simplicity and obscurity, these weapons have become arms of choice to all types of criminals. Within the context of your region, they are the weapons of preference for cattle rustlers, carjackers, terrorists, pirates and insurgents focused on undermining legitimate governments.

According towards the UN Programme of Action to avoid, Combat and Get rid of the Illicit trade in Small Biceps and triceps and Light Weapons in every Its Aspects (PoA), the proliferation of small arms can be related to hindering development, undermining real human rights and limit good government across the world. Small hands proliferation within the pastoralist neighborhoods has sustained violent conflicts, added to rising levels of armed offense and undermined broad-based and equitable development in North Kenya. The long background of internal and regional equipped conflicts in Kenya some of which can be on-going, the propensity in Somalia towards undemocratic political and security systems, weak neighbouring governments capacity and underdevelopment have all posed significant troubles to efforts to determine effective control buttons on small hands in the Northern Kenya region.

Efforts have been initiated by the Government of Kenya to curb further proliferation of small forearms and disarming the against the law owners of the said hands. With these kind of determination, this study seeks to determine what contributes and stimulates small arms proliferation in Northern Kenya.

Small Arms Proliferation in North Kenya

Communities in North Kenya have for long possessed unlawful SALW as a means of looking into cattle rustling. Although unlawful, communities have persisted to posses such arms even at the danger of being subdued by forceful government disarmament programs. Presently, the illegal biceps and triceps' market seems to be taking a new aspect with new market fronts being exposed in North Rift and a restored demand from unfamiliar buyers joining the market (Masinde, Pkalya, & Adan, 2004). The proliferation of small hands and light weapons in this area is an immediate security task to individuals, societies, and neighbouring countries hence causing an enormous hurdle to lasting security and development (Kenya Individual Rights Percentage, 2001).

In Kenya, the pastoralist communities occupy the most significant percentage (over 70%) of the country's total land area. The populace of the livestock keeping (pastoralist) neighborhoods in Kenya is predicted at about 20% of the total population of the united states. The North Kenyan pastoralists are nomadic cultural groupings that are highly mobile. These are mainly Turkana, Samburu, Pokot, Borana, Rendille, Orma and Somali clans. They move from one area to another searching for pasture and drinking water for his or her livestock. These moves are one of the major resources of misunderstanding and discord between them and their neighbours (Waqo, 2003).

The region is highly marginalised and underdeveloped as essential infrastructure such as drinking water, livestock market, health, highways and education facilities are either too scarce or totally absent to be relied on. The vastness and remoteness of the area, inadequate road systems and scarcity of resources should go hand-in-hand with lapse in security occasioning frequent misunderstanding and issues among these pastoralist neighborhoods. This is normally over resources especially water and grazing land. A study by (Federal of Kenya, 2006) shows that the high occurrence of small biceps and triceps within the North Eastern province could very well be a representation of the utilization of small forearms in stock rustling and in settling local disputes, proximity to the borders with Ethiopia and Somalia, and the genuine or perceived failure of the State to provide adequate security for civilians residing in these areas.

The pastoral neighborhoods in northern Kenya specifically, possess artillery that may create unprecedented security problems to the country. Some security experts have cautioned that these communities are on the verge of creating militia and war groups, which could even be taken into future politics face-offs. Professionals alert the weapons could be utilized on large level if quick measures are not taken to disarm areas (Kiarie & Kiberenge, 2009)

The ownership and use of small hands is not limited by these boundary provinces, however, as the results for Central, Nairobi and European provinces reveal. These areas have a greater concentration of metropolitan areas. Therefore, the results claim that, given the various security dangers, and public and monetary conditions in rural and cities, the demand and use of small arms is powered by a number of factors.

Factors Contributing To Arms Proliferation

Small biceps and triceps and light weapons proliferation has made traditional raiding a commercial business, more lethal and severe. Small hands including automated and semi programmed weapons have become widely available and are significantly used in the pastoralist's districts. These weapons have come from a number of sources, including discord prone neighbouring countries (Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Northern Uganda). Each community is trying to arm itself creating a local "arms races" (Rugumamu, 2004).

There is limited policing of Pastoralists areas as both national and region law enforcement and security forces are either incapable or unwilling to confront cattle rustlers who've generally struck with impunity. State's responsibility and obligation to provide security to her people is conspicuously under siege in northern Kenya. This has greatly added to the spiralling firearm culture, self-defence and retaliation missions. Their state arming of local vigilante communities, popularly known as Home Guards, in response to security problems, has exacerbated the cattle rustling issue rather than lessen the problem and Legal point out arms issued to these teams have been used in unlawful activities including cattle raiding (Mwaniki, Mbuchi, Leleruk, & Mwei, 2007).

Close examination of the demand for hands reveals a intricate interplay of environmental, social, historical and governance issues. Remoteness and environmental scarcity have added to the difficulties of pastoral individuals and their dependence upon a mobile, cattle-rearing lifestyle and marginalization, underdevelopment and insecurity. In past times, pastoralists experienced coping mechanisms for times of extreme scarcity, including mobility into the areas, alliances and agreements with other categories, and raiding. Raiding was usually small-scale and didn't entail modern weapons, and cattle circulated between categories in the region. However, colonial and postcolonial governments have gazetted large tracts of pastoral land in a way that pastoralists remain competitive for progressively small regions of pasture and scarce sources of normal water (Buchanan-Smith & Lind, 2005).

Pastoralist internal political company promotes bravery and, if required, assault - for example, for the ascension of young men through the age-set system from shepherd kids to warriors. Bride-to-be wealth is another major factor with prices ranging from 20 heads of cattle. High prices are retained partly by the necessity to replenish cattle lost to raiding. Before when pastoral societies were more productive, parents would supply the cattle for his or her sons when they marry, but now young men need to arm themselves and raid. The people have come to rely upon it as their source of livelihood. The launch of arms into the pastoral areas has allowed influential entrepreneurs or elders to gain control of the cattle raiding equation, sell cattle from the district and therefore impoverish the region. Hands are then necessary to enable someone to have a livelihood working for a racketeer.

Marginalization and insecurity

District officials surveyed in Kenya stated that pastoralists mainly demand arms for security of animals and folks from episodes by neighbouring categories. The local community users have mentioned the shortcoming of the government to properly protect the folks, in times of porous international edges by which small biceps and triceps are flowing, in a way that there is a localized inter-communal forearms competition. Pastoral areas have historically been the patients of marginalization (politics, economic and sociable isolation), with the absence of effective governance or, in some places, with the total absence of government and judicial systems. Colonial governments often appeared to be seeking not just to end cattle raiding but pastoralism itself, on the grounds that it was a backward life-style. This contributed to an activity of growing biceps and triceps race. Militaristic methods by the state of hawaii like obligated disarmament energize an hands trade among the local communities because the bullets and arms upsurge in value, pushing other neighborhoods to trade their hands.

Effect of Small Hands on Communities

There are various effects that the proliferation of biceps and triceps in the northern Kenya communities experience. Because of possession of biceps and triceps there's a rampant ethnic discord between tribes or clans. Cattle rustling and the others as the following:

Destruction of property.

Rising poverty levels one of the communities of Northern Kenya.

Increased insecurity levels.

Consistent banditry.

Increased criminal offense levels.

Sophistication of conflicts and criminal offense incidences

Attracted many businessmen directly into commercial trading and offers in biceps and triceps.

Kept off investors from the region - affected tourism and livestock marketing businesses.

Disruption of social harmony and co-existence on the list of ethnic communities.

Constant fear and sense of vulnerability is instilled in the neighborhoods.

Destruction of infrastructure / facilities such as classes, health centres, highways, water openings and markets.

It's for these repercussions that it is important their state and other included stakeholders should take immediate action to control arms proliferation in the region. Kenya has been at the forefront of attempts to, prevent and take care of issue in the sub-region and in particular to take on the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons. For example ratifying the Nairobi Process and also host the Regional Centre on Small Biceps and triceps (RECSA), which co-ordinates and oversees the execution of the Nairobi Standard protocol.

Action to lessen the Proliferation

According to an Oxfam worker who's area of the peace negotiation program was quoted "Due to pasture and drinking water, livestock and the limitations just create the conflicts. That is why people possess guns for self-defence. When the federal government became independent, there is not enough security around and by that time is when the issues started. So the only way for folks to guard themselves was to buy hands from the neighbouring countries like Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia. For some people, comparing to different areas even in the west, they talk about how there is almost no government presence and they also feel they need to arm themselves in safeguard against other warring neighborhoods. The government will try to disarm them however they still continue having [guns]. Like in Western Pokot and Turkana districts, when the neighbouring countries strike us, the federal government always calls for long to behave. So we do not wait for their defence".

To fight the demand for small hands, Oxfam's peace programme visits border areas to form village-level tranquility and reconciliation committees, most of them over the international edges. This work is partly funded by Oxfam. Major hurdles include finding vehicles to travel to remote areas: but based on the staff, villagers are receptive to peace-building education. Oxfam GB peace-building activities treat strengthening community capacity to control peace and handle conflicts through request of traditional and environmentally relevant mechanisms; and boost state capacity to control security and ensure the guideline of regulation for safeness of its individuals (Waqo, 2003).

This entails support to community dialogue and disputes management activities, support trainings for community customers and government officials, research and documents. The community peace-building initiatives are recognized through district serenity and conflict resolution committees whose regular membership is drawn from all the stakeholder institutions in the region. The government and all the ethnic organizations are part of the committee in confirmed district. Like a subject of taming the neighborhoods and encouraging these to get rid of illegal arms, the federal government supports the community peace-building initiative and plays a major role in strengthening it. Within the city initiatives for peace-building is weaponry collection and voluntary surrender activities. The role of peace initiatives in assortment of weapons has varied across the arid districts. Emphasis has been on confiscating those weapons, which have been used in murder, banditry, stock fraud or intimidation of other pastoralists (Nnoli, 1998). Most guns collected are in response to such incidents. Where possible desire to has gone to avoid use of push in collecting these weapons. In Wajir, for example, elders from the serenity committee take the lead in efforts to collect weapons. Security employees often come with them but only threaten push if elders suggest this. Elders speak to the household worried and tell them they will not be jailed if indeed they return the firearm. A de facto amnesty has been around in many arid districts; those who are relived of weaponry aren't prosecuted unless the firearm has been used for legal activity. When information of a weapon used are received, even if only to threaten, an instant response team is usually sent to demand that elders from the community concerned to find and hand over the weapon.

Challenges to Weaponry Collection and Disarmament Efforts

The community weaponry collection initiatives have been very encouraging. However, there are several challenges met in the process.

Accountability of security personnel for their guns and ammunition is seen as an integral aspect of reducing proliferation and availability of weapons in arid areas. It was noted that in the past decade or so there has been a sharp deterioration in this respect.

Confidentiality: In the event where the elders plan a forceful disarmament of someone who is perceived to be harmful and careless and thus move information to police force, the info may be leaked out hence hampering the disarming process

Monitoring: It is not easy to determine the statistics, activities and uses of guns within a particular district and the region.

Security and disarmament: Although areas are co-operative in disarming and voluntary weaponry collection and surrender, there is absolutely no security guarantee for these people. This makes the condition difficult.


The ethnic routine of acquisition of small forearms in the cross-border areas schedules from the pre-colonial period, with recurring themes or templates of communal resource-based competition, local instability and insurgencies, status weakness, marginalization and confrontation with the state. The repressive, corrupt or non-existent point out security in rural areas has resulted in neighborhoods taking responsibility for their own security. Communities have used several solutions to acquire biceps and triceps: private purchase, disorders on government soldiers and revenge fights. In the try to improve security in such remote control and difficult-to-manage areas, the says have resorted both to the utilization of paramilitary makes and to the pouring of legal weaponry in to the areas.

While this may provide an increased sense of security for a while, in the long run, it would be feeding localized forearms races. The areas living over the Kenya-Somalia boundary are therefore stuck in a spiral of growing violent crime and insecurity, which is being given by the circulation of small hands into the area. Unless checked out, the stream of forearms from conflict areas to non-conflict areas will probably give food to this spiral of violence and insecurity and can eventually lead to the creation of more violent communities in the Horn region. The cost of guns has considerably reduced, indicating that the spot is awash with hands. Ammunition prices have however risen, implying that more research on ammunition is essential, as it could be the best approach to managing the tiny hands problems in the cross-border region in the brief run.

However, addressing source without handling demand is futile; this review has shown that guns are now an instrument of monetary subsistence hence it would argued that it is taking away people's way to obtain livelihood thus creating further issues.

However, before disarmament could start, the federal government should strive to understand and unravel the myth behind firearm culture. Questions as to the reasons people acquire weapons should be debated after and consulted greatly. The state of hawaii should first assure by action that it can guarantee the security of most, and then proceed to convince the communities that they (areas) no more need the guns for everyone is safe.

Disarmament should be a gradual process predicated on appointment and consensus building between your federal and the worried communities. It should be not perceived as a calculated thing to do certain communities vulnerable to attacks or so. At least, disarmament should be achieved regionally and not limited to certain districts or parts in Kenya.

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