RealNews

Sudanese enemies unite in search for peace

On the dusty veranda of an abandoned house, where bats career through rooms which long ago lost their doors and window frames to looters, two ceasefire monitors are boiling water on a Primus stove. They sleep in adjacent tents, wear the same khaki uniforms of the newly created verification monitoring team, and by chance even share the same name. Yet not long ago they were outright enemies. Gasim Mohammed Elamin, an Arab from Khartoum, is a former major in the Sudanese army. Gasim Idris, an African from Rumbek, is a former colonel in the guerrilla force which has been fighting the government for 20 years in Africa’s longest-running civil war. Now they patrol together as peacekeepers on the internationally sponsored team which set up its first base in south Sudan last week. The concept of joint patrols by former belligerents is unique in Africa, and rare for conflicts anywhere – as though members of the IRA and the Ulster Defence Association were to deploy together in south Armagh or along Belfast’s Shankill Road in the hunt for troublemakers. Full Story

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