On November 16, 2016, the government of Kenya destroyed 5,250 guns. The method used was fire. It isn't that guns are not valued in Kenya. Villages are being raided for slaves by al Shabaab, an African affiliate of ISIS. They have sworn allegiance to the new Caliphate in the middle east. But the Kenya government does not trust the villagers with any guns, even single shot muzzle-loaders, let along AK47 rifles. From africanews.com:
Somalia’s insurgent group al Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow the country’s Western-backed government and impose a strict version of sharia – Islamic law, has carried out regular assaults in neighboring Kenya in recent years as retaliation for Kenya contributing troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.
Kenya last burnt a similar collection of illegal weapons in 2003, 2005 and 2010.
Africa has been prone to small arms proliferation which has in turn resulted in political and social unrests in most parts of the continent. Reinforcing existing small arms treaties at the national, subregional and the continental levels are seen as important to maintain stability and peace in Africa.
The African Union says there is the need for a concerted effort to combat trade in illicit small arms and light weapons which continue to cause untold suffering and pain, threatening the peace and security of the region.
In the picture above, you can see a Webley MKIII nestled in between RPG launchers. Just to the left, is a homemade pistol. In another place there was a M-2 .50 cal machine gun. I saw one possible sub-machine gun. It looked like an American “Grease Gun”, the M3. There was a Mauser 98, and what appeared to be a sporterized Arisaka M38 from WWII!
It is sad to see such valuable resources destroyed when they could be put to good purposes. One reform that might help would be to allow personal importation into the United States. A limit of 3 firearms acquired overseas sounds reasonable. That was the policy until the middle 1960's. There was no duty or special license required for such personal importation. It would give governments overseas a way to get rid of some of their excess firearms, and make a profit at the same time.
I would gladly spend a couple of hundred dollars for that Webley, one of the double barreled shotguns, or the Martini-Henry.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.