Residents of the troubled North Rift region continue to surrender illegal firearms ahead of a major security operation to flush out marauding bandits.
The National Police Service (NPS) said two guns were recently surrendered to authorities following calls from multi-agency teams, including police and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), conducting operations in the affected counties.
In a statement, police said a G3 rifle loaded with a magazine containing five rounds of ammunition was handed over to the authorities in Samburu North on Monday, March 13.
"The rifle was surrendered from Nachola location by one male adult, and handed over to Police in Baragoi through Nachola Chief," NPS said.
The second firearm, a Mark IV Carbine rifle, was also surrendered to the police on the same day.
The firearm was surrendered by a resident through the Chief of Nachola Location.
"We call upon all persons in possession of illegal firearms to immediately surrender them to security agencies," police added.
"Further, any person with information that may lead to the recovery of illegal firearm(s) can share the information at any police post, station or via toll-free police hotlines 999, 911, 112, and #Fichua Kwa DCI 0800 722 703."
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki recently said the amnesty period given to surrender arms will not be extended, adding that anyone found with undocumented weaponry after the grace period will be dealt with as a bandit.
The government says over 135 innocent Kenyans including 20 security officers have been killed by marauding bandits in the last seven months in Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.
On Saturday, Kindiki ordered residents to vacate 27 escarpments, forests and gorges in Baringo, West Pokot, Laikipia, Turkana and Samburu counties within 24 hours ahead of a major security operation.
The CS said the security agencies had finally found a way around the bad terrain and are expected to upscale security operations in the banditry-infected North Rift by taking the war to their hideouts by land and air.
“This vice has been supported all along by a toxic mix of bad terrain, weapon supply and banditry leadership. We have found a way around the bad terrain. Therefore, security agencies will now onwards be taking the war to the bandits,” the CS said.
“In the last 25 days, the security agencies have engaged in meticulous intelligence gathering to establish the identity, stature and sophistication of the network perpetuating the orgy of violence in the region,” he added.
Kindiki said there are hundreds of heavily armed bandits holed up in difficult-terrain, remote and inaccessible areas at the bottom of gorges, escarpments, caves and ravines, some in the middle of hills spread across the region.
Kindiki warned that the new measures will inflict maximum pain on criminals who had also recruited unarmed civilians, including women and children, to act as human shields.
Areas to be vacated are Korkoron Hills, Tandare Valley and Silale Gorges in Baringo County, Mukogodo Forest; Kamwenje, Warero and Ndonyoriwo; Lekuruki Hills, Losos and Kiape Caves and Sieku Valley in Laikipia County, and Ltungai Conservancy, Longewan, Nasuur, Lochokia and Lekadaar Escarpments; Lolmolok Caves, Pura Valley, Malaso Escarpment and Suguta Valley in Samburu County
Others are Kapelbok, Nakwamoru, Lebokat, Ombollion, Nadome and Kamur caves in Turkana County; and the Turkwell Escarpment at the interface of West Pokot and Turkana counties.