26 February 2014 - The main radio stations in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been broadcasting a message from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in which he calls on the people of the CAR to end the bloodshed and lay down their arms. In his message, the Secretary General stated that Muslims and Christians have built the country together and that he knows it can be done again.
The UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and Manchester City Midfielder , Yaya Touré, was one of the big celebrities that joined the UN Secretary-General in calling for a return to peace in the CAR.
"Whether you are Christian or Muslim, you love your country. Then save it. Save your Central African Republic. Stop fighting. Lay down your weapons", he said
For the next one month, Central Africans will hear other calls for peace and reconciliation. The list of world stars set to join the Secretary-General and Yaya Touré in calling for a return to peace in the CAR includes Angélique Kidjo, a Grammy award-winning singer from Benin and goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF; and former French footballer Lilian Thuram, whose team won the FIFA World Cup in 1998.
All these calls are particularly aimed at the country’s youth, many of whom are involved in the ongoing violence. This initiative follows the presentation of a six-point initiative for the CAR by the Secretary General to the Security Council on 20 February, in which he pleaded for rapid reinforcement of the African Union and French troops, and proposed that all international forces in the CAR be brought under a coordinated command, and that the African troops which join this force be provided with logistic and financial support. The Secretary-General also called for rapid, tangible support to the government of the CAR and appealed for urgent funding for humanitarian aid.
You may listen to Yaya's message below (audio in French):
"Hello, my name is Yaya Touré, Manchester City Midfielder.
On the pitch I am happy to play with everyone. Africans and Europeans, Christians and Muslims, young and old.
Together we are always stronger. Our differences make us better.
In Central Africa Republic, your differences make you stronger.
Please stop fighting. Play together. Live together. We can all find strength in our diversity
You are a team.
Play together for Peace.