African Soccer and UN Team Up to Score Goals for Peace and Development

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The head of the United Nations political office in Central Africa and the
President of the African Football Confederation (AFC) have met to discuss how
the continent’s passion for soccer could promote the spirit of peace and
development in Central Africa.

In a meeting on the margins of the 28th African Cup of Nations co-hosted by
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Abou Moussa, the Secretary-General’s Special
Representative for Central Africa, and Issa Hayatou, the AFC President, agreed
to take common actions to promote peace and security in Central Africa.

“Players, spectators and all others involved in the tournament so far have shown
remarkable fair play,” said Mr. Moussa, who is also head of the UN Office for
Central Africa (UNOCA).

“The climate of peace that results is a credit to the continent in general and
Central Africa in particular,” he added.

Mr. Hayatou assured that the CAF would work with the UN “to secure, consolidate
or promote peace,” noting that such efforts were part of “a noble cause.”

A number of Central African countries have been plagued by violence and
instability, including piracy, human trafficking and the proliferation of light
weapons along major roadways linking countries.

In addition, the rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been
a constant threat to security since the 1980s, affecting countries in the region
such as Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African
Republic (CAR), and South Sudan, with practices that include the recruitment of
children, rapes, killing and maiming, and sexual slavery.

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