Easter Equatoria State, News

Youth demand sports for peace

By Jino Wilson Venansio


Budi County youths in Eastern Equatoria State are calling on gov’t and partners to support sport for peace in order to cement broken relationship with neighboring communities of Ikotos County.

Lotukei Payam youth leaders in Budi County, Mr. Alfred Odong made the call on 26th of January 2024, while addressing pre-consultative peace meeting in the area.

According to a youth leader, sports cements relationship and restoring peaceful co-existence as it creates interaction among the youth.

“We need to initiate sport for peace. I’m requesting partners dealing with peace to support us with sport for peace,” he said.

He asserts that when youths from conflicting communities continue interacting through sports, the issue of cattle raid, road ambushes will diminish.

He said, there have been several dialogues held between neighboring communities in Ikotos and Budi Counties but it hasn’t been fruitful at all, suggesting that through sport activity, people could realize peace.

There have been several attempts to restore peace with neighboring communities but hasn’t born any bear fruitful results. Let us use sports activities to bring peace with our neighboring counterpart.” Odong stressed.

The youth leaders, further affirmed that, sports is a compelling tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding.

Sport is not limited to the practice of physical activities. It is in fact, a recreational space where a healthy lifestyle is promoted, through physical and mental development. It is a place where individuals converge to improve their social skills, strengthen cultural values and adapt to rules,” Odong explained.

Meanwhile, Mary Natuk, speaking on behalf of women, during the pre-consultative peace dialogue expressed bitterness over a continuous loss of lives in baseless cattle thefts and road ambushes.

She appealed the youths from Budi and Ikotos Counties to redirect their energy into productive activities than dying every day.

“What I know, we still have enough energy to do heavy work and can we redirect our energies in doing productive work than going for cattle raiding and ambushing innocent people?” she emphasized.

Lopara James, one of the youth members from Lotukei Payam, appealed to colleagues to embark on agricultural activities rather than engaging in cattle thefts and killing of innocent people.

“I want to know when you kill a person, do you produce many children?  When you kill a person, do your garden yield properly?” he inquired.

He urged the youth to task themselves on the impacts of their actions before taking negative steps, saying there is also a need to enlighten children to embrace peaceful living.

“This is something that we need to ask ourselves always. If I killed a person will my wife give birth to twins?  Let us educate our children with this harmful practice. If we know that we can’t gain all the above, then we need to desist from those ugly practices” Mr. James lamented

Efforts to reach youth representative from Ikotos for comments on their views on initiating peace through sports, was successful due to poor network.



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