FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF SOMALIA DISREGARDS THE FORMATION OF THE SOMALI NATIONAL DISABILITY AGENCY

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Following the parliamentarian approvals of the National Disability Agency bill in November and December 2018, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo signed into the bill on the establishment of Somalia’s National Disability Agency at the presidential signing ceremony on 31st December 2018. These serve as key milestones for persons with disabilities in the realization of Somalia’s commitments for persons with disabilities and the return to the International Human Rights Instruments after many years of conflicts.  The National Disability Agency seeks to serve people with disabilities equal and is aligned with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) of the United Nations.

Somalia’s non-state actors supporting persons with disabilities in Somalia including SODEN have been following and remained close contacts with the relevant government institutions to advocate for the implementation of the bill and the government to establish the National Disability Agency. However, The Federal Government of Somalia ignored the establishments of the National Disability Agency regardless of the huge needs of the persons with disabilities for inclusive services delivery and equality within public institutions and the private sector.

On 1 August 2019, Hon. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng Yariisow) was killed due to a suicide bombing that occurred on 24 July 2019 inside the mayor’s office. Preliminary findings after the killing of the previous Mayor show a female disabled person who worked in the local government blew herself up with the help of another female, who also worked at the local government office. This has been a misfortune a terrorist act which claimed the loss of many lives and Al-Shabaab’s use of a disabled person as a suicide bomber should not hinder the government’s commitments in the protection and the promotion of rights of the persons with disabilities in Somalia and the realization of the implementation of the national disability bill that is completely neglected by the Federal Government of Somalia due to the preliminary findings of the killing of former Mayor of Mogadishu showed a blind woman as a bomber.

Any terrorist act against humanity does not belong to nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability and persons with disabilities in Somalia cannot take any such blame that took place at the Banaadir region’s Mayor’s office last year. Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) as a representative organization of the people living with disabilities (PWDs) in Somalia is appealing to the Federal Government of Somalia to respect the need to have the National Disability Agency established and demonstrate their political will in establishing the national disability agency.

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