voxsouley

Flare-ups and Demands – CAR, Part 3

In CAR, International Development on November 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm
I was stuck behind this truck on my way to the office today.

I was stuck behind this truck on my way to the office today.

11/12/14, Wednesday, Bangui
Checked the airport and my bag didn’t make it. There are only two Royal Air Maroc flights per week, on Saturdays and Wednesdays.  Super annoying, I’ll have to go out and at least buy a pair of pants and some underwear. I’ve been washing my skivvies every night, at this point I’ll throw it all out when I get home!

The internet here is atrocious. I spend half my day switching between browsers as things load, I can’t concentrate on any task that involves any internet connectivity. Here it seems we have to go old school and share things via flash drive, which is fine but I know I’ll go home with some computer viruses.

11/13/14
Rained like crazy last night. I started taking Malarone as my anti-malarial, I’ve never taken it before. Had some vivid but kind of exciting dreams before I woke up… Maybe also because I had a tonic with dinner (I’m thinking it has a little quinine so every little bit helps.)

There is a kind of flare up here in Bangui this morning. Apparently the Seleka, who are the predominantly Muslim group, are annoyed with their lot. They are more or less quarantined in a neighborhood of the city and have threatened to blow up their weapons cache if they do not get more food. So, they set up some road blocks in that part of the city, which has increased the difficulty of getting around. We’re close to being hibernated. Already the staff are going home at 1pm.

Still, I’m feeling productive, maybe I can help get some things done, hopefully.

4:30pm update…
The Hibernation went through in the end. Just about 1pm, when we were going to send the local staff home anyway, my HR Officer colleague got a call from a contact at the Gendarmerie, telling us that they couldn’t guarantee the safety of the area, and that everyone should go home. My colleague was like, “it’s time to go, get your things.” He then stiffly took off. I left with my expat colleagues; our security manager (who I hired! yay!) got me to my hotel where I’ll be hanging out.

From the International SOS alert, “Former fighters of the mainly Muslim Séléka armed coalition blocked Avenue des Martyrs, next to the Community Hospital, and Avenue de l’Indépendance near the Fidele Obrou military barracks in Bangui on 13 November; both are main routes leading to Bangui M’Poko International Airport (BGF).The development comes after the fighters at the nearby Béal Camp in the city’s 200 Villas neighbourhood (1st district) issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the authorities on 11 November threatening to detonate an ammunition depot at the site. The fighters are protesting against disarmament conditions put forward by the authorities, and are demanding higher compensation amounts.”

More on what happened here from Reuters.

So, I came back to the hotel and took a nap. Hard to get things done with the slow internet.

It’s amazing how messed up the world is, as this kind of thing doesn’t even raise the slightest blip in the world media. I was switching between BBC, Al Jazeera, and France24 and none of them even mentioned it in their newsfeed. I feel bad for CAR.

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  1. That’s why people like you are good to have in the field and documenting your time there its more reliable than the news …

    Like

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