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RDAA Organizes a Peace Tournament between the Organized Forces and the Civilians in Yambio, South Sudan

On 23rd January 2021, RDAA organized a football match for peace between the organized forces and the civilians as a bid to enhance peaceful co-existence and to enhance gender responsiveness and trust between women and security forces for peace and mutual respect. Football matches world over have been used by organizations and governments as a tool for enhancing peace, trust building and fostering reconciliation and healing.

Both teams the Civilians and the Organised forces already lined up ready for the tournament at the Freedom squire Stadium in Yambio town

RDAA believes that football matches can mostly help to overcome the deep-rooted ethnic and tribal tensions because it is in the sports field that fears and suspicions are put aside. Furthermore, sports allow those from different communities to meet and compete with and against each other in friendship.

The Freedom squire Stadium is full to capacity before the highly publicized match between the Civilians and the Organised forces could set off

Furthermore football matches had in the past been used to heal divisions within countries and enable countries to come to terms with past and present tensions. Matches have also been used to encouraged social change by addressing various human rights issues including gender equality, equal rights, inclusion, peacebuilding, and unity.

RDAA staff led by the acting director were not left behind they had already taken their seats at the Freedom Squire Stadium as early as 3pm to watch the highly publicized match between the Civilians and the Organised forces.

Moreover, during the tournament held in Yambio at the Freedom Stadium, a sense of peace, trust and forgiveness, was realized and demonstrated during the match in the manner in which both the spectators and the players conducted themselves. There was no rough game by both teams and in fact no player received a yellow or a red card and no foul word came from the cheering spectators. The Civilian team won by 4 goals to 3 against Organized forces.

The captain of the civilian team receiving the trophy from Director General of State Ministry of Youth and Sports after their 4 – 3 win against the organized forces. Looking on is the Ag. Director of RDAA and the project officer

The positive benefits of sport go much further than its physical and mental impact for the individual. In fact, for RDAA sports is a vital tool for the health and strength of our societies. We know that Sport, if used properly can challenge prejudices, heals divisions, champions tolerance and foster peace and reconciliation.

Sports for peace and reconciliation matches to continue being organized by Yambio Local Football Association to encourage peace in the state.

It is for this reason that RDAA is using football matches for peace in Western Equatoria state. This activity is a component of RDAA’s project titled ‘advocacy on inclusive dialogue, reconciliation, healing and social cohesion’ funded by UNDP.

In attendance during the match were; Yambio town Mayor, payam administrators, Yambio Chairperson of Chamber of Commerce, RDAA acting Director, RDAA staff, UNMISS staff, WFP staff, Red Cross Staff , Yambio town youths, soldiers, both policemen and women and traders.

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