The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has handed over an assortment of football kits and items to support youth football development initiatives in Jubaland State.
In a colourful handover ceremony held at sector headquarters in the port city of Kismayo, Jubaland Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Haji Feyruus officially received the donation which included balls, football jerseys, shin guards and goal post nets, enough to kit four teams.
AMISOM Sector six Acting Commander Lt. Col. Samuel Musomi presided over the handover ceremony, which was also witnessed by Jubaland Football Federation Chairman, Ahmed Farah Taqal and other senior AMISOM officials.
Speaking during the handover ceremony Sports Minister Feyruus emphasized the importance of sports in fostering unity, peace, reconciliation and security in the region.
“Sports plays a vital role in social integration and strengthening the security of the region, it also connects clans and people with a different faith. They play football without discrimination on the basis of colour and region. I hope the donation of the sports items will make a difference in Jubaland State and it will be delivered to the people in need,” the Minister said.
Lt. Col. Musomi noted that there was need for AMISOM to also take part in social-economic initiatives, like supporting youth and the community to help in integration and ensure harmonious living.
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“Other than fighting Al-Shabaab by the military, we also have other activities that we need to engage in, to fight Al-Shabaab in terms of bringing the youth together to play football, enjoy and move away from criminal activities,” Lt. Col. Musomi said.
Speaking for the football fraternity, Jubaland football chief, Taqal welcomed the donations and said the gesture came at the right time when the football fraternity needed support, especially with kits and that they will make good use of the items and ensure equitable distribution.
“I am happy to receive a complete sports equipment here sufficient for four teams which consist of sports jerseys, sports shorts, shin guards, balls, sports-nets. I believe sports equipment is important for the youth and we expect some more support of its kind.
We are grateful to AMISOM and the other partners who supported us with these items,” said Taqal.
Sports and football have a huge following in Somalia and the donation is in line with the AMISOM’s Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) objectives.