Survival of wildlife offers tourist hopes to Southern Sudan

The Times of London
Boma National Park, Southern Sudan

Boma migration
A vast migration of kob antelope sweeps across Boma National Park. Environmentalists say that tourism could underpin the economic future of Southern Sudan (Jack Hill for The Times)

“When we first came up here after the war there was a real sense of discovery,” said Dr Paul Elkan, a conservationist in Boma National Park in Southern Sudan. “People were saying that there were no elephants, that there was nothing left, but on the first day we saw a bull elephant, giraffe, oryx . . .”

Flying their small aircraft over the plains, a joint team from the Government of Southern Sudan and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), funded by the US Agency for International Development, discovered one of the world’s largest migrations, as 1.3 million antelope crossed the land. Continue reading Survival of wildlife offers tourist hopes to Southern Sudan

Sudanese tribesmen denied vote threaten a return to bloody past

The Times of London
Abyei, Sudan

Abyei
Many residents of Abyei spoke of their disappointment at being ‘left behind’ as the south prepared for independence (Jack Hill for The Times)

Sudan’s disputed region of Abyei is threatening to declare allegiance to the south, raising fears of a return to war as the country prepares to split in two.

Preliminary results from Southern Sudan’s week-long referendum on independence showed an overwhelming vote to split from the north yesterday. The poll was the culmination of a peace deal in 2005 that ended 22 years of civil war. But a parallel vote on whether Abyei would become part of the north or south was postponed indefinitely after failure to agree on who was eligible to vote. Continue reading Sudanese tribesmen denied vote threaten a return to bloody past

Can hope and freedom triumph over corruption and poverty in Sudan?

The Times of London
Juba and Rajaf, Southern Sudan

Susan Poni and her daughter Doki. She gave birth in silence without medication on the floor of her mud-walled home(Jack Hill for The Times)
Susan Poni and her daughter Doki. She gave birth in silence without medication on the floor of her mud-walled home
(Jack Hill for The Times)

Decades of war and generations of deliberate neglect have left Southern Sudan as one of the poorest and least developed regions in the world, with experts warning that it may be decades before the world’s newest state can stand on its own feet. As polls close today after a week-long referendum on independence for the south, there is little doubt that voters will choose separation from the north. Voting to be a separate state, however, is not the same as becoming a viable one.

“This is state-building from scratch,” said Alex Vines, the head of the Africa programme at London’s Chatham House think-tank. “It is a long-term project and it will be decades before we see a successful, sustainable state emerge,” he said. Continue reading Can hope and freedom triumph over corruption and poverty in Sudan?

Carnival spirit as Sudan prepares for foundation of a new nation

The Times of London
Juba, Southern Sudan

Millions of people began voting on Sunday morning (Jack Hill for The Times)
Millions of people began voting on Sunday morning (Jack Hill for The Times)

By dawn Ajang Kornilo had been queueing for five hours. “Now is my time to fight for freedom. With this card I join the struggle,” the 23-year-old said, holding up the registration card that allows him to vote in a poll that is expected to divide Sudan.

“Today we are finishing the struggle that was fought by our brothers and fathers for all those years,” said Mr Kornilo. Across southern Sudan millions of people began voting at 8am yesterday to choose unity or secession in a referendum likely to lead to the world’s newest nation. Continue reading Carnival spirit as Sudan prepares for foundation of a new nation

China’s rise ‘puts elephants and rhinos in danger’

The Times of London
Nairobi, Kenya

A ranger guards elephant tusks in Nairobi National Park. The Kenya Wildlife Service says that most of those arrested for trafficking tusks are Chinese (Thomas Mukoya/Reuters)
A ranger guards elephant tusks in Nairobi National Park. The Kenya Wildlife Service says that most of those arrested for trafficking tusks are Chinese (Thomas Mukoya/Reuters)

Hundreds of elephants and rhinos are being slaughtered for their tusks and horns in an illegal trade fuelled by growing demand from Chinese workers and businessmen in Africa, conservationists and wildlife officials claim. Continue reading China’s rise ‘puts elephants and rhinos in danger’

Sudan Prepares to Break Apart

The Nation
Juba and Malakal

“The suffering of southerners was created in colonial times,” says Peter Lam, a retired teacher in his 70s from Malakal, a trading town in Sudan where north meets south on the banks of the Nile River. As Sudan’s second independence approaches, we are discussing the first, and what has gone wrong. Continue reading Sudan Prepares to Break Apart

One Man’s Rwanda

Columbia Journalism Review

Gourevitch
Gourevitch’s New Yorker articles and his celebrated book helped cement a benign view of Rwanda and its leader (Orjan F Ellingvag/Dagbladet/Corbis)

There had been ethnic massacres in Rwanda before, but nothing on the scale of the genocide that began in April 1994. The killing had been over for nearly a year when a young American reporter, Philip Gourevitch, set foot in Rwanda for the first time the following May. The bodies of the dead were reverting to bone but memories were still raw. Gourevitch wrote of accidentally crushing a skull beneath his foot, so thick were the dead at a massacre site, and of the eerie emptiness of a country where so many had died so violently and so recently. In his first dispatch from Rwanda for The New Yorker, seven months after arriving, he wrote, “It almost seemed as if, with the machete, the nail-studded club, a few well-placed grenades, and a few bursts of automatic rifle fire, the quiet orders of Hutu Power had made the neutron bomb obsolete.” Continue reading One Man’s Rwanda