The government of Somalia has banned importation of toy pistols, guns and bombs on Eid day to protect its children from violence.
The circular, released by the Ministry of Trade, said it is protecting children from violence and abuse and warned businesses that importing the toys could have wider repercussions for the country, possibly motivating children to engage in violent acts themselves. “Businessmen who import toys for Somali children should henceforth import toys of peace, love and creativity,” part of the statement read. Toy guns are often carried by children during the Eid celebrations.
Children in Somalia have been affected by the armed conflict for close to three decades and some of them have been recruited as soldiers by competing groups.
According to Unicef, Somalia is one of the “least protective environments for children.”