Saturday, October 08, 2005

There's a rumour going around Darfur at the moment that is simply too good not to blog, even though I have not yet confirmed it with the people in the small field location where the drama is said to be playing out:

I'm told that there has been a lot of tension outside one of the South Darfur IDP camps because a large group of Janjaweed militia recently rocked up on the outskirts of town and began occasionally firing off rounds at people passing by.

Not surprisingly, this was becoming a bit of a nuisance for the camp residents, and community leaders were racking their brains about how to get rid of the militia - until someone came up with the brilliant idea of warning the government authorities that those men over there with guns were in reality a group of SLA rebels.

Eager to dispel the treacherous enemy and obviously too lazy to have a proper look at their opponents, the government soldiers began whizzing a few rounds of ammunition at the men in the distance - who promptly retaliated with some shots of their own. It obviously took a while for both parties to realise that they were in reality firing at an ally of sorts - and by this time, everyone had of course become so engrossed in the intense shooting that there was not much point in stopping just because the target happened to be a friend rather than foe.

While I have heard different versions about how the authorities managed to explain this somewhat embarrassing shoot-out to their superiors, the strategy of dispelling the pesky militia seems to have worked beautifully for the locals. All I can say is that - even if it does turn out to be just a rumour - the approach has certainly planted some ideas on creative problem-solving in peoples' heads over here...

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