SUDAN WATCH: CNN's Nic Robertson reports from Sudan-Chad border

Friday, May 12, 2006

CNN's Nic Robertson reports from Sudan-Chad border

In his report from Sudan-Chad border, CNN's Nic Robertson says a journalist can easily be shot for his or her automobile in Sudan or Chad, and explains:
As we've seen here in crowds, tensions can run high. A crowd can go from being sort of loud and peaceful to being angry and vengeful within a matter of seconds.

In Sudan, we saw two types of crowds. We saw a crowd that appeared to be organized by the government that was out to tell Jan Egeland that they didn't want the peace deal implemented by U.N. peacekeepers coming into the country.

And we've seen refugees in the Sudan camps who have been there two to three years, saying they do want international peacekeepers because they don't have faith in the African Union peacekeepers who are supposed to keep them safe right now.

They don't trust the Sudanese government. They say they get arrested when they go into town.

When you're in a crowd here, I think you really have to watch people's facial expressions, you have to watch their moods, you have to see if anything is changing their mood.

If one person turns in a crowd -- and this is the same in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other countries -- the whole mood of the crowd can shift in seconds. You have to be aware of that.

In Chad, the refugees, even those who have been here three years or more, are remarkably peaceful. They recognize and respect everything the international community is doing for them.

One of the refugee leaders in one of the camps told me today, "We know there's no one else out here who is going to provide security, who's going to help us and take care of us other than the international community."
[Note, many of the refugees are onside with the rebels. Darfur rebels are anti AU mediators and AU troops. Throughout the past few years they've wanted UN troops onside and UN to replace AU mediators at Darfur peace talks. Propaganda is rife]

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