It’s been one year since the Garissa University attack, in Kenya, where 147 students have lost their lives in a tragic terrorist attack. Thousands of people gathered to commemorate the victims by braving the scorching sun and completing a five kilometer “remembrance marathon’’.

The event, organized by local nongovernmental organizations, including Control Arms member Kenya Pastoralist Journalists Network featured statements from survivors, inter faith leaders, local and national officials who condemned terrorist attacks and called for stronger arms control in Kenya. Elisabeth Mweni, a survivor from the horrific attack, recounted how four assailants stormed the building and fired indiscriminately at students, most of which were female. “I am lucky to be alive and the attack haunts me to date, as I don’t believe I could survive what I saw inside the hostel and wardrobe that saved me from the blood thirsty assailants.’’ said Mweni.

Kenyan Parliamentary majority leader, Mr Adan Duale stated that “We need to work with government closely in ensuring that illicit arms are not used to take innocent lives.’’ Other governmental officials and community leaders echoed his remarks calling for more cooperation between all stakeholders not only to prevent future terrorist attacks but also to regulate the flow of illicit arms in the region.

The organizers also urged the Kenyan government to immediately accede and implement the Arms Trade Treaty as well as take a leading role in Africa’s arms control initiatives in order to prevent the proliferation of illicit arms. “We support the initiative wholeheartedly and will all the required support and backing to ensure its smooth success and secure our region’’ said Mr Adan Duale, assuring the participants of his support for the Treaty.

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