Mogadishu — IN an effort to counter the threat of terrorism and ethnic conflicts, authorities in Somalia are making the most of sport’s power to unite.
Football, the most popular sport in the country, is central to these objectives led by the African Union mission in the country (AMISOM).
It has handed over an assortment of football kits and items at Jubaland, one of the regions beset by communal clashes and the scourge of the Al-Shabaab terror group.
Osman Haji Feyruus, the Jubaland Minister of Youth and Sports, emphasised the importance of sports in fostering unity, peace, reconciliation and security in the region.
“Sport plays a vital role in social integration and strengthening the security of the region. It also connects clans and people with different faith,” the minister said.
Lt. Col. Samuel Musomi, the AMISOM regional commander, said empowering youths would dissuade them from perpetrating conflict.
Unemployment and lack of recreational facilities have emerged as a factor in the Al-Shabaab recruiting youths.
“Other than fighting Al-Shabaab by the military, we also have other activities we must engage in, to fight Al-Shabaab in terms of bringing the youth together to play football and move away from criminal activities,” Musomi said.
Officials from Jubaland Football Federation welcomed the donation.
The Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group, has been active in Somalia since 2006.
It has also launched offensives in neighbouring countries particularly Kenya.