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UNAMID celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day

Photo by Mohamad Almahady, UNAMID.

On 18 July 2018 thousands of people, gathered at Abu Shouk Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in El Fasher, North Darfur, to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day, observed under the theme: “Take action, Inspire change.”

The event marked the centennial of Mandela’s birth and drew a diverse crowd including students, women, youths, community leaders and UNAMID staff. Activities included music, traditional dances and cultural performances by the UNAMID Rwandan contingent and local groups, as well as a football match between the Mission’s Gambian contingent and the Stars team from Abu Shouk camp. The winning team received a trophy and medals sponsored by UNAMID.  

Speaking at the occasion UNAMID Representative, Mr. Aderemi Adekoya read UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s message for the day, in which he described Mandela as a towering global advocate for justice and equality.

“Nelson Mandela was held captive for many years, but he never became a prisoner of his past. Instead, he poured his energy into reconciliation, and his vision of a peaceful, multi-ethnic, democratic South Africa,” added Guterres.

Abu Shouk IDP Camp Manager, Ibrahim Alkhalil, applauded Mandela’s efforts to unify South Africans and praised the work of freedom fighters across the world. He expressed the Government’s readiness to support the voluntary return, resettlement and integration of IDPs into the local community.

Representing displaced women, Nafisa Ismail, said Mandela’s legacy inspired communities to work for peace and freedom. She urged all the non-signatory movements to join the peace process in Darfur.

UNAMID organized similar events to mark the day across Darfur.