Apr 24th
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African Continental

Tanzania destroys 3,000 illegal weapons

 AUTHORITIES in Tanzania at the weekend reportedly destroyed over 3,000 illegal firearms, in an operation aimed at curbing crime in the East African region.A report by Xinhua claimed that the country’s Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal witnessed the burning of 3,181 illegal firearms at Ukonga Prisons’ grounds on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, the east African country’s commercial capital.Bilal said the destroyed firearms were used by people to commit armed robberies within the East African member countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.He said most of the armed robberies occur on borders among the East African partner states, adding that it was estimated that there were 500,000 illegal firearms in the region.He said 200,000 illegal firearms have already been surrendered and destroyed in the east African region since the operation began last year.Late last year, Tanzanian police authorities announced a three- month grace period for people possessing unlicenced firearms in the country to surrender them to district commissioners, ward executive officers, regional and district police officers or to any police station.The Inspector General of Police Saidi Mwema said those legally permitted to own a gun should renew their licences within the three-month period. He said under the exercise all weapons in the country should be registered.Mwema warned that the police force would embark on a country-wide crackdown on those possessing firearms illegally after the registration deadline elapsed.Meanwhile, Tanzania has resorted to adopt an inclusive approach that proved to be an effective tool towards curbing poaching in its 15 national parks, a top official said on Saturday.In the new strategy geared to save few remaining groups of the big five mammals, the East African country started teaming up with the private sector as well as all security agents.“We came to learn that working alone in this war, it is impossible to win this fight, as perpetuators are changing tactics, “ Khamis Kagesheki, Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resource and Tourism, told Xinhua on Saturday in Arusha. 

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