Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rains are making it a bit hard to communicate at the moment. The Thuraya satellite phones only work when they are actually pointing up at the satellite, which means you have to be outside. And being outside and pointing the things up at the sky when it's pouring down on you is simply not very pleasant for either me or my phone.

While posting these little rants to my blog may not exactly be a communications priority, reporting security incidents certainly is. And there have been a lot this month in North Darfur where I am working at the moment: it's rare that a day or a situation report passes by without at least one mention of attacks and robberies, be they on locals or aid workers.

After musing yesterday about how even the government must eventually realise that improved security might actually make some sense, I realise that some of the most unlikely sources are suddenly beginning to agree with me on this.

Today an African Union soldier who patrols around a checkpoint near Kebkabiya tells me that he had an interesting experience a few weeks ago - a group of Arab militia were passing through and suddenly stopped to complain to the AU about increased robberies and banditry in that area (no mention of the politically and ethnically motivated attacks, rapes and murders, but hey, what can you expect from militia?)

Yep, that's militia, complaining about too much violence. And the fact that someone should really do something about it.

It gets even better: only a few hours later, who should pass by the same checkpoint but a group of rebels (SLA). Making exactly the same comment about how the AU should really sort out all this banditry - it's simply getting unacceptable, all this violence.

I couldn't agree more. Shame that my definition of violence still seems to be a bit wider than theirs.

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At , Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Funny thing happened today on international TV news (BBC World News I think). There was a brief teletext scroll at the bottom of the 12:00 broadcast stating that the head of the AU Mission to Darfur says that things (security?) were getting much better. No on-camera story, no journalist follow-up, just the teletext message.

Welcome to the Blogsphere, Sleepless. I found you via the Global Voices Online blog over at Harvard University. This oughta be good, finally someone with the guts to blog live out of Darfur. Good Luck and keep posting away (with great care for your safety).

At , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure things are buzzing around there about the alledged scuffles between Conoleezza Rice's entourage and Security Forces there in Sudan. I've read what the AP had to say - I would love to hear what people are saying there.

I pray all is well.

At , Blogger Veloceraptor said...

There was an article in The Independent this morning with the headline "Rice demands apology from Sudan after staff 'roughed up'".

It's enough to make you want to throw up, isn't it? She merely gets "roughed up" and she "demands" an apology, and if she should have got raped like those woman you have been telling us about, then Bush would have been sending out the bombers and the missiles, and there would be all hell to pay. These politicians today don't seem to be living in the real world, and as for the "electorate"; it's kind of as if they are all sleep-walking; you just can't make them see the injustice in the world, but when "Dirty Den" on "Eastenders" got killed they all talked about it for days. I am feeling very pissed-off that nobody lives in reality, and nobody listens.

Good luck to you "Sleepless". I wish you the very best, and all the people in the camps. Thank you for keeping us informed. It is people like you who should be getting medals, instead of the pop-stars that Blair gives them to. He only does that just to get young people to vote for him, but most of them are old "has-beens" anyway.


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