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UPDATED: 09:19, March 03, 2007
Kenya set to destroy 8,000 illegal small arms
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The Kenyan authorities said on Friday they will set on fire nearly 8,000 illicit small arms recovered by the police over the past two years in an ongoing effort to curb the proliferation of illegal weapons in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region.

Police said in a statement that the firearms, which have been recovered from criminals or voluntarily surrendered by members of the public, will be destroyed by burning mid this month.

"The fourth destruction exercise would be conducted on March 15 in accordance with the government's commitment to the agreements of the United Nation's Program of Action dubbed Bamako Declaration and the Nairobi Protocol," Police spokesman Gideon Kibunja said.

"The two agreements support the prevention, combat and eradication of illicit trade in small arms and their proliferation, " the statement said.

"The police are appealing to the public to continue supporting efforts to root out small arms from criminals by volunteering information and surrendering such weapons in their possession," Kibunja said.

Kenya is a signatory to the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of the Proliferation of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, which was signed in 2000.

The destruction of the weapons was in line with the Nairobi Protocol for Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons signed in 2004 by states that had earlier initiated the Nairobi Declaration.

Signatories of the protocol include Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Source: Xinhua

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