Passion for football brings communities together in Morobo on Human Rights Day

In Morobo, local communities came together to celebrate International Human Rights Day with a fiercely competitive but friendly football match.

13 Dec 2021

Passion for football brings communities together in Morobo on Human Rights Day

Surur Ali Ayile

“Playing football is important because it brings us together in reconciliation and peace,” says Roba Anjelina.

She’s among the crowds of Morobo citizens who have come together on International Human Rights Day to enjoy a special football match designed to strengthen relationships and build trust and confidence between local communities. The match is the culmination of a broader event supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in collaboration with Morobo County authorities, including human rights awareness training for 80 participants and the provision of beds, mattresses, furniture, blankets, and mosquito nets to the local health center.

“The youth are all here and you can see that they are united,” says Absala David, Morobo County Sports Chairman. “There are many new faces from different Payams (communities) here to celebrate. While our field is small and not in the best condition, we are happy the young people are engaging positively together through sport.”

Morobo resident and passionate footballer, Jenti Sadiya has volunteered her time to provide first aid to any injured players.

“I love playing football because it keeps me healthy and I’m able to make many friends with others who are passionate about sport,” she says. “Today is special though because we are celebrating Human Rights Day. Every human being has rights so let us stand together against any violations of those rights.”

For his part, Samuel Remo, the acting Morobo Executive Director, says Human Rights Day is a chance to consider the many challenges faced by communities across the region.

“This celebration makes us focus on human rights but also maintaining peace and security and promoting national and international cooperation.,” he said. “Today, I invite all of you to promote human rights and stand up against acts of abuse, and pray for kindness, peace and hope in our society.”

The area’s Member of Parliament, Maka Mustafa, called for more to be done to promote awareness and respect for human rights.

“The war has brought a lot of problems that have made us focus only on what is happening in our area. We need to ensure that our people get exposure to the broader issues and solutions by organizing exchange visits with other areas.”

Morobo County Commissioner, Joseph Mawa, ended the day with a reminder to all: “Human rights is about equality. We are all equal regardless of gender. No one is above another. Let’s learn more about our rights and our obligations to each other as human beings.”