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Friday, December 28

Welcome to the Show: Part 2c – Sebastian’s Story

Napata lay some two hundred miles to the north across the Bayuda Desert from Khartoum. It was an all-day drive in the heat and dust, following tracks in the sand through open desert and brush, black boulders and termite mounds.

It was hellishly hot. Sebastian hired a Toyota Hilux pick-up, known to the locals as boksi. It cost a little more than lorries or buses and was not a great deal more comfortable. Nobody wanted to go to Napata.

The car swerved to avoid something in the road. Sebastian leaned out of the pick-up to get a better look.

It was a corpse.

It was clear they were driving through the site of some sort of battle. From the looks of it, the man had been killed by a single gunshot to the head.

The driver kept driving, oblivious or uncaring about the state of a dead man on the road. The conflict in Darfur had brought out the best and worst survival instincts in the Sudanese.

About seventy-five yards from the road was the bloated body of a camel. A short distance away from the camel was a scattered pile of dark blue, tattered rags. The camel was saddled with a very ornately worked leather riding saddle, with faded tassels and silver trim.

"Shame," said the driver in Arabic. "Perfectly good camel.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:37 AM


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