9 February 2009 A club for youth to exchange ideas on peace, to be established in all schools of secondary and above levels in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region, was launched this weekend, the African Union-United Nations joint peacekeeping operation there (UNAMID) said today.
Over 100 new members attended the opening of the first UNAMID Peace Club, sponsored by UNAMID’s Community Outreach Unit, at the Model Secondary School for Girls in El Fasher – the headquarters city for the mission.
“As leaders of tomorrow, your views and contributions towards sustainable peace and security in Darfur is imperative and UNAMID will provide you the forum through the club’s numerous programmes and activities to express them,” Daniel Adekera, the head of the Unit, said, adding that the mission was doing everything possible to ensure negotiated peace for Darfur.
The Peace Club will bring youth together through activities like debates and poetry competitions, which will focus on an end to war, as well as sporting and cultural activities, Mr. Adekera said.
The establishment of a Peace Library is also planned for the club, which will make it a resource centre for information related to UNAMID, the UN and peacemaking efforts.
The opening celebration included a quiz game in which the students showed off their knowledge of UNAMID and its activities in Darfur, where fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen and causing an estimated 300,000 deaths, while forcing some 2.7 million people to flee their homes.
The Peace Club will be launched in three more secondary schools within the week, UNAMID said.
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