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“Peace Games” in the Democratic Republic of Congo


From 6 to 20 August 2006, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), and under the auspices of the Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace, will be holding the “Peace Games” in the city of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Young people from the 24 municipalities of the city will participate in various sporting tournaments including soccer, basketball as well as 4km and 10km fun runs.
 
Sport as a vehicle to promote peace
The Peace Games are aimed at promoting a culture of peace and reconciliation and offering the youth of the Democratic Republic of Congo an alternative to violence and hatred, especially around this potentially sensitive election period. Organised in collaboration with the DR Congo National Olympic Committee and the local sports movement as well as the Kinshasa municipality, and with the support of the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP), the Games will provide the various communities of the local population the opportunity for recreation and peace, as well as to develop trust and confidence between the parties. Peacekeepers will also participate in the Games.
 
An example to be followed
These Games are the first of their kind, organised within the context of a peace-keeping mission, in a post-conflict country. The IOC hopes to hold bridge-building events in other countries where UN peace-keeping missions are in service, and where sport can be successfully used as a tool for peace-building and community dialogue.
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