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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Peace in Darfur Through Athletics

Sports promote peace in Darfur acting as a universal language bringing people together. 

Sports for peace photo by John Mitchell

Athletics is a great tool to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice. Athletics have long been recognized as an instrument for promoting peace tackling problems in post conflict situations ease as sports has the ability to bring people together.

The United Nations Mission in Darfur hosted an outreach event in the El Sereif locality of North Darfur in western Sudan designed to serve as a bridge to foster interaction and prevent tribal division. Thousands of El Sereif residents, many of whom were displaced from clashes that took place in early 2013 in and around Jebel Amir, turned out for the festivities, which included speeches, cultural performances, soccer and football matches, volleyball tournaments and horse races.

“Athletics helps us in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the Millennium Development Goals,” said United Nations Security-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr. Abdusamad Suleiman Marji, Secretary of the locality’s Youth, Culture and Sports Ministry, said that such events help drive out sadness and inspire community harmony. “This is an event that has allowed all of us to at least feel happy,” said Ms. Thuryia Ismail, a women’s group representative living in El Sereif, echoing the sentiments expressed by Mr. Marji.




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