Photos blogged by African peacekeeper in Darfur: Spreading Love and Show of Force
Short break to catch up on reading and emails. Back soon.
God bless all the peacekeepers.
In silence after a long day as the cool wind wafts in from the desert at Mahla two soldiers stand-to in a sandbag bunker. So far away, in Sudan, far from loved ones, but closer than ever to their comrades. It makes me think of the following quote: "From this day until the ending of the world those of us in it will be remembered, we lucky few, we band of brothers; for he who sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother." (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Lt Col Jan Barendse of South Africa spreading some love with the simple act of handing this young lady a piece of candy. Some rewards are priceless. Please think of the people of Darfur in their continuing crises and remember who the victims are. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Show of Force
Platoons 2 and 3 of Bravo Company preparing to move out from Mahla base on a show of force patrol. The aim of this type of patrol is mainly to show what you have to keep belligerents out of the area. If they stay away the people of Darfur benefit. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Protecting the Eyes
These troops from 8 SA Infantry Battalion in Upington deployed on the ground near Mugran village in Northern Darfur to protect the observers as they interact with the locals out of shot. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
One of the section (squad) leaders in Platoon 1 busy loading an MGL (Multiple Grenade Launcher) during our patrol during my visit to Mahla. These 40mm 6-shot weapons have the firepower to blast any patrol out of trouble. Recently the effectiveness of the MGL was demonstrated when a patrol of 6 SA Infantry Battalion got involved in a firefight and used this weapon effectively. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
At the back Maj Wolmarans waits as Sergeant-Major Kennedy prepares her company for her during roll call parade. Mahla also happens to be the neatest base I have seen in Darfur after my eight months here so far. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
This is the way meat is displayed in the El Fashier market. I may add that the sun is very very hot. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Welcoming at Mahla
I recently spent three days at Mahla, a South African base in the North of Sector 6 and the Northernmost base of ours in Darfur. The woman at the vehicle is Maj L. Wolmarans, the commanding officer at the base. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
During my short three-day visit to the South Africans at Mahla for Tamam Magazine I got to see the famous Mahla Crater. Unfortunately the photo does not do it justice since it's size is really magnificent. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Arrival at Mahla
These are South African soldiers in all-round defence at the airstrip at Mahla. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
I took this photo in the bottom of the crater at Mahla when I was there. In this photo you see three of the important things for the people of Darfur: Their children, water and their animals. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
The Mahla Weather Rock
(Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
I took this photo inside Mahla Crater. There were at least four large herds of camels and they made a lot of noise. The water in the crater is pitch black, salty and does not smell good. The camels though seem to have no problem. One of the locals proudly told us his camels can go without water for a month in the cooler season. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Coming out of Mahla Crater we followed the centuries old camel trail. The going was slow as the camels in this photo brought up the rear to a herd of about fifty camels. Not the nicest view to have a camel butt in your face all the time. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
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Working in my "Office"
This is me working in my "office", which is a tent with air conditioning. At least the heat in El Fashier is not as bad anymore as a month or two ago. The nights are actually getting cold now. (Werner K, Darfur Nov 2006)
Questions for Werner
Some questions I'd like to ask Werner:
Has the food (especially from Khartoum) for AMIS personnel improved?
Are AMIS personnel now paid correctly and on time?
Has night time curfew on patrols been lifted? Is AMIS still doing firewood patrols?
How can you tell if the Sudanese forces and civilians you meet are Arab or non-Arab?
How can you understand what they are saying?
Are they friendly when they greet you?
How can you tell who is a rebel and who is a civilian?
How can you tell who is a bandit and who is a janjaweed?
How can you tell who is a janjaweed and who is a government soldier?
Have you seen a lot of dead bodies and graves in Darfur?