Bentiu, South Sudan- majority of its people lived in the camp for now last five years, Philip Moun Top is one of the Youth and local Football association Leader in Bentiu has this to say, conflict in has caused hard conditions including many died due to revenge killing, pregnancy of young girls, last of cultural norms and loss of properties. People last lost confident among themselves and simple issues escalate violent, putting sub-clans against each other.
Mr. Moun lives in Bentiu Town but rarely go to the protection of civilian site under United Nation Mission in South Sudan since the start of the conflict in 2014 which hosted over 140, 000 civilians displaced from all former unity state counties. The people in this situation are undergone hard and nasty conditions in the camp and in the town. As such for food continue and the available opportunities for employment are not utilized as most of the youth put their hands on their laps and turn violent to each other.
Beat of non- stop conflicts, Mr. Moun was appointed as the chair for the football association in Bentiu before the conflict though the association became non active during the conflict but in 2018 and late 2017 Philip was motivated by the activities of the youth in the PoC and became engaged in a series of meetings with the youth leaders in PoC how both youth can be engaged in sports for peace. The football tournaments have now become the main peace building activity in the IDP camp and Bentiu Town after ACR started supporting sports activities in partnership with UNDP. Last year, ACR organized sports for peace tournaments for the displaced people and those living in Bentiu town. The sports material provided also helped about 205 boys and 80 girls sustain their teams in order to reconnect after the conflict divided them.
“Whenever youth play football, even those w ho come from UN camp play,” says Mr. Moun. “In the conflict, brothers and sisters were put against each other but football makes them play together.” “Sports is the only tool we are using to reconnect the youth in Bentiu and with those in UN camp and it keeps everybody busy and forget our differences says Mr. Moun
Mr. Moun reveals that because of their intervention on youth engagement in sports for peace and meetings, revenge killings have diminished and every one of the youth end up moving together and continues rebuilding their social cohesion. “Some players who come from UN camp sleep together with those in Bentiu Town and Rubkona which reminds them to love themselves as South Sudanese, says Mr. Moun.