Somalia’s government has released a circular banning importation of toy pistol, guns and bombs on Eid days. The circular warned businesses importing the toys could have wider implications for the country, possibly motivating the children to engage in violent acts themselves.
In the recent past, Al-Shabaab militants shocked many after photos emerged of the terror group handing out toy weapons including guns rocket launchers to children. The terror militants handed the gifts to the children as young as three years in the town of Jilib which is their stronghold located in Southern Somalia.
The action by the militant group was termed by many as nurturing future insurgents in the town of Jilib which has an estimated population of 45,000. The terror group has imposed strict Islamic laws in the town even going as far to form a moral police to behead and cut hands of those it perceives as going against religious laws.
The militants according to reports also gave the children hoods and masks with an Al-Shabaab flag.
The jihadist group emerged in 2006 from the now-defunct Islamic Courts Union, which once controlled Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu. The militant group launched its own insurgency on major Somali cities in 2009, taking control of Mogadishu and southern Somalia.