Residents of Marsabit County have been cautioned to brace themselves for a forceful disarmament set to kick off any time from now.
The Eastern Regional Commissioner (RC), Isaiah Nakoru said area residents have failed to respect the 24 hour ultimatum issued by the government on Friday to surrender illegal firearms in their possession and also return guns stolen from three security officers killed in a banditry attack in Jaldesa last Tuesday.
However, speaking at the Marsabit County Commissioner’s Boardroom after a lengthy security meeting on Saturday evening, Nakoru assured citizens that the looming operation would be carried out with a human face.
“I am appealing to residents of this county to voluntarily surrender any firearm in their possession to the nearest relevant authorities as those caught up in the operation will not like it,” he said.
The RC who led a joint security team in laying strategies for the impending exercise warned that it was going to be very tough for the locals if they failed to cooperate with the government.
He pointed out that killing of police officers was tantamount to declaring war against the government which could not be allowed in whatever circumstances.
“This county is awash with illegal firearms and as a government, we are committed to restoring law and order, thus a forceful disarmament was inevitable,” cautioned Nakoru.
He said that it was the priority of government to safeguard and protect lives and property of its people hence the need to sanitize Marsabit which was slowly turning out to be a deathbed of innocent citizens.
Nakoru disclosed that the intended operation whose preparations he said were complete, would be extended to other counties, including Isiolo, where civilians are believed to be in possession of illegal firearms.
“We have had a very successful operation in Kitui County and it is our desire to extend the same to all parts of this region,” noted the RC, adding that no development could take place in an area prone to hostile activities.
Nakoru accused area leaders including elected representatives of failing to foster peace among local communities, but instead championing ethnicity under the guise of securing grazing resources.
Others present in the meeting, included the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of Eastern region, Eunice Kihiko and the Marsabit County Commissioner, Evans Achoki.
By Sebastian Miriti