Wednesday, May 18, 2022

South Sudan organizes peace Olympics to promote reconciliation

South Sudan has organized a Peace Olympics to help reconcile communities divided by conflict. This year the “Tweak Olympics” marked its 20th anniversary in Twick County.

In this Olympic opening ceremony, a spiritual leader blesses the athletes to protect them from injury while a goat represents the belief that power comes from nature.

This is not the Winter Olympics in Beijing. This is the Tweak Olympics in northern South Sudan.

The annual two-week Games in January attract athletes from six communities to compete in traditional Olympic and team sports. Objective: To reduce communal conflict.

Volleyball player Ring Aguek knows ring violence firsthand.

“In May they came to raid our cattle and in the process of protecting them I was shot and finally I was able to get my cows back. As I am still in sports, I am an injured person but who can still play because I see it as a unifying factor,” Ring said.

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More than 700 athletes participated in this year’s 20th anniversary Games, which also promoted health issues such as preventing COVID, HIV and waterborne diseases.

Ekuil Malith Banggol, founder of Tweak Olympics, says that sports have a mission.

“Peace does not come without an agenda. You cannot ask people to be peaceful without being active on something that is keeping them away from bad activities. We are creating an opportunity to interact and interact with the youth,” said Banggol.

South Sudan is the youngest country in the world at 11 years of independence, but it has never been completely peaceful.

Tweak Olympic Association secretary Chol Ajing says involving youth in sports can help end conflicts.

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“In South Sudan, the crises of 2013 and 2016 were fueled as young people responded,” Ajing said. “What if youth do not engage in such activities and do not think of joining politicians and promoting war?”

These South Sudanese athletes love the ‘tug of war’ and are urging those still fighting the real battle to drop their weapons and join the glory of the sport.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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