In Darfur: A Travel Diary (Day 2)

In Darfur: A Travel Diary (Day 2)

Editor's Note: In March, Kurt Pelda, Africa Bureau Chief of the Swiss daily the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), traveled to eastern Chad on the border with the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur: a trip that was documented in a diary published in English on World Politics Review and that would see him eventually turning back from the border due to inadequate security conditions. In late October, Pelda returned to the region and crossed the border into Darfur, where he accompanied a Darfur rebel group. The diary of his trip was published on the NZZ Online in German, and World Politics Review here presents it in English.

Day 2: Umar and the War.
The Meeting Place in the Wadi

A light wakes me up in the middle of the night. At first, I think it is a star that is particularly low in the sky. It is not moving and is shining bright into my mosquito netting. It is only after I have cleared the dust from my eyes that I realize that it cannot be a star. It is an electric light: the headlight of an automobile. The vehicle is presumably in the camp of the guerilla fighters that stole two cars from "our" rebel faction.

In the dark it is difficult to say how far away the camp is. After the sun has come up, we can judge somewhat better. The light was coming from a wadi with thick vegetation: the ideal place for a rebel group to hide out. Now our driver Jamal can at least have an idea what area he has to avoid.

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