RDAA Organizes another Successful Peace Tournament in Maridi Town
On 29rd January 2021, RDAA organized another football match for peace between the organized forces and the civilians. RDAA has been conducting this exercise in various towns in Western equatoria 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. This activity is a component of RDAA’s project titled ‘advocacy on inclusive dialogue, reconciliation, healing and social cohesion’ funded by UNDP.
The benefits of sport go much further than its physical and mental impact for the individual as a tool for enhancing peace, trust building and fostering reconciliation and healing. And as we already know and as we have already witnessed, Sport, if used properly can, challenges prejudices, heals divisions, champions tolerance and foster peace and reconciliation.
Since RDAA started these exercises, we have already seen that football matches are able 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. In attendance during the match were, Maridi Municipality and Maridi Football Association, which also participated in the planning and execution of the activity. Other agencies like South Sudan Red Cross also participated in the exercise by sending staff and volunteers. Other participants included RDAA staff, youth, soldiers, women and traders.
RDAA believes that sports 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.
We have already witnessed that, during these tournaments a sense of peace, trust and forgiveness, is always realized and demonstrated during the matches in the manner in which both the spectators and the players conducted themselves in all the tournaments conducted so far. So far there has been no rough game or heckling witnessed during the events and neither has there been a yellow or a red card issued in the peach. In addition, no threats were issued from the Organized forces even though they lost to the civilian team by Four (4) goals to Zero (0).
The County officials pledged that Sports for peace and reconciliation matches would continue being organized by Maridi Local Football Association to encourage peace in the state. The local authorities and the local sports association also pledged to organize a fully-fledged competition for peace where both women and men teams would compete in their capacities and more teams are involved.