Somali minister for water and mineral resources General Abdi Hassan Awale known as Qeybdid has called on the top leaders of the Somali government to use football as an element to pacify the lawless country and disarm child soldiers used by terrorists.
During his address at a welcome ceremony held for the Somali national football squad late on Monday the minister asked President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid to give football first priority when it comes to disarm and rehabilitate child soldiers in Somalia, saying that football is a powerful sporting event and will help create a peaceful Somalia.
“For the past 20 years I have been busy in sport, I got full understanding of football and I am sure it will help in pacifying the chaotic country where terrorists are using thousands of child soldiers to continue destabilizing the lawless nation and the whole horn of the African region,” the minister stated adding that football for peace programs can be used to rehabilitate misguided youths in Somalia.
“Football is peace, so the Somali government must do a fundraising program to assist the Somali football federation, because the needed football for peace activities cannot be achieved without much money,” the minister said adding that he will be the first minister to donate to the Somali football federation. He also called on the donor nations specially those interested in Somalia including the United States, the United Nations peace and sports development department to invest in Somali FA which can help the process of disarming and rehabilitating thousands of child soldiers fighting in Somalia.
“The Somali National football team has been training in a police compound and you see they gained victory over Djibouti, so how do you think if they would have trained in an international style facility like Stadium Mogadishu, I am sure they would have defeated all Africans,” General Qeybdid hoped.
In April last year, the Somali Olympic committee presented a high level special recognition award to the former Somali police boss and current government minister General Qeybdid for his decades-long contribution to Somali sports and the fight against drugs.