By Maram Alabbasi
Disabled individuals gathered in front of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s residence on 13 March for a demonstration demanded participation in the country’s upcoming National Dialogue Conference slated to start on 18 March.
The demonstration was organized by the Nation Union of the Disabled Society. President of the union, Othman Alseloi said that 150 associations make up the union, and considering that over two and half million Yemenis are disabled, people with disabilities deserve representation in the conference.
They union submitted their list of representatives nine months ago and filled out the requisite registration forms, but they have not been included.
“We have the right to know why, without any notice, we have been excluded from the conference,” spokesman of the National Union of the Disabled Society Mogeeb Qahtan said.
The National Dialogue Conference is tasked with bringing varying segments of society together to decide the country’s political future. The demonstration consisted of people with a wide range of disabilities, included blindness, deafness, the physically disabled, including victims of mine detonations, and those with mental disabilities.
“The exclusion of the disabled would further marginalize an already marginalized community; disabled people deserve to be represented because they are an important part of the community, no different than any other group marginalized group in the country,” Alseloi said.
The past two years have left many victims of conflicts disabled while more and more people find themselves physically disabled because of mine detonations in Sa’ada.
“We hope the political leadership will take a stand and insist on the necessity of our participation in helping to form a new Yemen,” Alseloi said.