Among Darfur Rebels and Refugees: A Road Diary (Day 6)

Among Darfur Rebels and Refugees: A Road Diary (Day 6)

Editor's Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur. Over 200,000 Sudanese refugees live in eastern Chad, having fled the violence in Darfur. The region likewise serves as staging grounds for the Darfur rebels fighting against the Sudanese government. During his three weeks traveling in the region, Pelda kept a diary, which provides a portrait of the Darfur conflict that is perhaps unrivaled in its detail and nuance. In daily installments through the beginning of August, World Politics Review presents this important document for the first time in English, concluding with an epilogue penned by Pelda exclusively for WPR. Read other entries.
Day 6: Jackals and Nomads

The Desert Spreads to the South

4 March

At five o'clock sharp in the morning, two four-by-fours pull up in front of the hotel. It turns out that I have already met the Swiss guy who is offering us the ride to Abéché once before in N'Djamena. But we are far too tired to chat at greater length. We quickly put our bags into the car, as well as some packs of biscuits and canned goods, just in case, and, above all, plenty of drinking water. It is still completely dark as we leave the outskirts of N'Djamena behind. It is too early for the gendarmes manning the various roadblocks we pass to be interested in checking our papers. They simply wave us through. How groggy even the driver is becomes clear at the first toll booth just outside the city limits, as he barely avoids crashing into the gate.

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