Over the years, the availability and misuse of small arms has been a challenge in Kenya. The post-election violence in 2007 augmented the urgency to enhance efforts of controlling the proliferation of small arms. Following the implementation of the UN General Assembly 2001 resolution of marking of small arms and light weapons, Kenya formed the Kenya National Focal Point (KNFP) on Small Arms and Light Weapons, an organization established to control and coordinate initiatives and actions on arms control countywide.
In stepping up efforts to implement meaningful security-related initiatives ahead of the 2022 General Elections, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission joined the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light weapons in an arms marking assessment process in Remba Island, Homabay County. The assessment, carried out on 15th September 2021, involved a demonstration of the marking process and record-keeping of the said arms.
Speaking during the assessment, the Director of Programs Ms. Millicent Okatch, noted that “the Commission is working with all like-minded actors to promote harmonious co-existence among Kenyans of all walks of life. In a bid to enhance security ahead of the 2022 Elections, we have developed a Roadmap dubbed ‘Uchaguzi bila Noma’, with one of the transformative actions aimed at resisting violence. The Arms Marking process is one of those strategies”.
On his part, the Assistant Director for KNFP Mr. Amos Katana noted that the Arms Marking process is an on-going process, with over 790 arms already marked in Homabay County. He averred that the process is 99% complete across the country, with only two counties - Mandera and Wajir - yet to be marked.
The mission is hosted under the Programme Steering Committee on Transcending Foundations of Peace and Security for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, and supported by the Embassy of Sweden and UNDP-Kenya. Other implementing partners also present included the Inter-religious Council of Kenya, PeaceNet, Partnership for Peace and Security, as well as the Security Research and Information Centre. The Sweden delegation pledged their support for ensuring the security lacuna in the country is sealed, especially ahead of 2022.