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July, 2010 - GHANEP uses soccer for Peace

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GHANEP uses soccer for Peace

By Albert Yelyang

The balls being presented to the captain of the Bamvim team

Following violence that erupted somewhere in 2008 at Bamvim-Dohini, in the Tamale Metropolis between two chieftaincy factions led by Yahaya Manguli and Haruna Abu, and the simmering tensions thereof, the Ghana Network for Peacebuilding (GHANEP) also called WANEP Ghana, through its Ghana Alert Project (GAP) embarked on non-violent and peace sensitization activities in the community between October and December 2009. One of the outcomes was the need to reduce tension by increasing interaction among the youth.

After intervening with the Police in a death threat which came after the murder of the chief of Gare Zegu, Sagnarigu, on Monday 22nd March 2010, GHANEP saw it necessary to revive and promote soccer which was recommended by the Dohini community members. Thus, a civil society team comprising GHANEP members engaged the community in a fun game. The non-factional team and community members of Bamvim being sensitized to be non-violentThough the scores were 6-2 against GHANEP, the technical support as well as physical presence of stakeholders such as the Regional Sports Council, Ghana Red Cross Society, Action Aid Ghana, and representatives of both community chiefs made the activity a huge success.

Both feuding chiefs were more than glad that GHANEP had revived the games in the community which was interlaced with peace education talks. As part of contributions to kick start the games and to increase community interaction through soccer, two footballs were presented by GHANEP to the community.