Wednesday, June 29, 2005

There were neither bombs nor gunshots - but the story gets even better! Today I hear on the aid worker grapevine that the 'attacked' UN plane that landed in Nyala yesterday (which was, incidentally, neither an Antonov nor carrying cargo) had merely busted a windshield shortly before landing.

Not that I would be saying 'merely' had I been a passenger on that flight, but in any case the plane landed safely after people heard a polite announcement explaining that the co-pilot had taken over the plane because the pilot could no longer see through his broken windshield (hmmm).

Of course, the government-controlled Sudanese media immediately went for the kill and spun a confusing and somewhat implausible tale pointing an accusing finger at the rebels.

Rewind to one week ago: in another part of the country (Red Sea State, thousands of miles form Darfur), another rebel group (Beja Congress) accuses the government of dropping bombs on civilians in the town of Tokar. No one in Tokar seemed to be able to find any holes in the ground where bombs had hit, but the finger-pointing is in full swing. This time, the international media run with the story.

So now the tit-for-tat comes full circle: (Beja) rebels accuse government of attacks in Red Sea State, government accuse (JEM) rebels of attacks in Darfur, everyone makes the other party look like the bad guy, and the cherry on the cake is that despite the difference in rebel groups, place and time, there actually is a link(Darfur's JEM rebels have recently been cooperating with the Beja ones through a kind of rebel conglomerate called 'Joint Eastern Front'). I may not understand all of the details (hey, if the media is not so bothered, who am I to question them), but it's somehow all ironic enough to keep me amused over here in my little corner of Sudan.

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