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Friday 15 October 2010

Short duration patrol and box to live in

Most team site in UNMIS do four kind of patrols; Town Patrols (the immediate neighborhood), Short Duration Patrols (back before nightfall most of the time), Long Duration Patrols (bring a sleeping bag), and Areal Patrols.

Yei Team Site tries to do two town patrols a day, as well as a SDP five days out of seven. LDPs and APs happens once to twice a month.

With a schedule that busy, and only a dozen UNMOs assigned to the TS, there is no time for new arrivals to laze about... today I was the designated driver in the lead vehicle of a two car patrol going into the back of the beyond. Most driving directions in this part of Sudan starts with "take off the hard road" - mostly because the only bit of somewhat hard road in the area is the parking lot of the team site. But when the driving directions states "take of the mud road and onto the cattle track"... well, welcome to Africa. To condense two hours drive into one sentence, lets just say that if the last rain had been a day or two later, we would not have reached the village we were heading for. Mud, soft ground, water, more water and lots of goats everywhere.

As often happens, the chief of the village was somewhere else when we arrived, but we had a good talk to a couple of the other headmen in the little community. They considered the area to be peaceful and quiet, with little crime or such problems. However, they wanted us to know (and let the proper people know) that they haven't had any medical facilities since long before the civil war, that the nearest school was more than 10 km away and that the road to their village was awful - we already knew the last bit a little too well.

Since I was the driver, and the Patrol Leader wisely decided to head back to base ASAP due to the threatening rain, I didn't get to snap any photos. I did however walk around camp later in the evening, taking a few shoots of my more or less furnished container and the camp itself.


  1. Heisann. Navnet mitt er Stig Koteng (politi fra Trondheim) og jeg sitter nå i Norskehuset i Khrt og venter på den siste flighten hjem etter ett år i El Fasher, Darfur. Jeg var i Yei 2006-2007 og det er artig for meg å se bildene du har lagt ut. Lurer på hvor denne containerleiren ligger hen. Ligger den på andre siden av byen i forhold til flyplassen ikke så langt fra Crop Training Center, CTC? Om du er på Facebook, kan du gjerne legge meg til som venn der.
    Hilsen Stig Koteng

  2. Hei Stig :)

    Yei TS ligger omtrent en km ØSØ fra Freedoom Square - like ved UNHCR, DRC og NAP.

    Jeg vil tro mye har endret seg i byen siden du var her, men gatene er de samme gamle - bare nye hull og dumper :)


  3. Really interesting to see the photos. Question; How do you communicate with the local people? Do you have an interpreter or do they speak English?

  4. Most of the people in Yei town (as in most larger town and cities of Sudan) speaks English after a fashion - at least enough that we can pay for food and other goods we need.

    However, when we go on patrol we always brings a Language Assistant who's job it is to act as an interpreter between the people we talk to and us UNMOs. After all, some of the information we are after is critical, and we can't relay on broken English to get the information across.