Shades of Grey II

Nairobi: Following my earlier post about Darfur not being quite the black and white issue many people want it to be, reports are emerging of a particularly nasty attack by unknown militias against the beleagured African Union force. Numbers vary, but anything up to 12 African soldiers were killed during the attack on an Amis … More Shades of Grey II

Shades of Grey

NAIROBI: Back home from my reporting trip to Sudan and a chance to reflect on what I’ve seen and heard in Darfur. Every time I visit Sudan or write about the conflict in Darfur, I am struck by the same feelings of inadequacy. By and large the crisis there is badly reported. It has become … More Shades of Grey

Paranoia in Darfur

KHARTOUM: Any journalist in Africa will tell you that it is best not setting plans in stone or even inking meetings into your diary. Things rarely work out quite how you expect and a plan B is usually only the first of a series of contingency measures. The story idea that seemed so promising when viewed … More Paranoia in Darfur

Coffee and Cake

KHARTOUM: Arriving in Sudan’s capital city after spending a sweat-drenched week in Darfur always brings something of the demob spirit to the tired hack. The traffic is a pain. Especially now during Ramadan. The city’s notoriously aggressive drivers are now also tired, hungry and in no mood for such considerations as traffic lights. But once … More Coffee and Cake

Divide and conquer

DARFUR: This is my third visit to the camps around El Fasher now, and every time they throw up something different. Abu Shouk was expanding rapidly during my first visit. This was just at the end of the first phase of the conflict, when the Janjaweed and government forces were still engaged in large-scale attacks … More Divide and conquer

Liberals look away

DARFUR: General Martin Luther Agwai, commander of the African Union Mission in Sudan, gave an interview to the BBC’s Orla Guerin a week or so ago. It dwelt on what exactly needs to be done if the new UN-AU hybrid force is to make a difference in Sudan, once the green hats of the AU … More Liberals look away

Sudanese voices

DARFUR: Peace talks between the government and rebel leaders are due to start in Tripoli next month, but if the voices on the ground are to be believed there seems little hope of progress. The members of the Fur tribe I have been meeting in camps such as Abu Shouk, near El Fasher, are pretty … More Sudanese voices

DARFUR: El Fasher is the dusty capital of North Darfur. About 150,000 people who have fled their homes during fighting in the past four years now live in three sprawling aid camps around the town. While the camp dwellers of Abu Shouk, Zam Zam and Al Salaam find their wells have dried up, and wait … More