First official report from inside rebel held territory
30 December 2012
SRRA Report 1
(Kampala) – A horrifying picture of the fate of more than one million Sudanese living with constant bombing and artillery attacks from government forces is contained in the accompanying report. In just one small area – the payam of Wadaka in Blue Nile – 1,205 people have starved to death, half of them children.
This special 21-page report is the first definitive assessment of the situation by the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA) the relief wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N), which has been fighting for the lives of its people since they were attacked by government forces in June 2011.
President Omar al-Bashir’s government in Khartoum has consistently refused to allow aid agencies access to these people. Talks mediated by the African Union have failed to persuade…
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We spent two weeks farm-sitting in Olmué, a couple of hours outside of Santiago. We learned how to live by ourselves without external entertainment (although we did find a DVD player during the second week) And at the pace of life dictated by the farm’s needs. In theory, we got an education in how to make hand-made organic wine – but sadly our efforts in this area were not too successful. By trial and error we discovered how to cook meals from absolute scratch, without any kind of processed or pre-packaged ingredient. I also learned that dogs will go crazy for peas.
Our volunteering was set-up through Workaway.
Unlike the Argentinian pampas, the scenic carretera austral in Chile is very popular with cycle-tourists. December sees up to 20 cyclists per week in each direction and January is said to be even busier. Population density in Chilean Patagonia is still low (less than one per square kilometre); most of the roads are unpaved. The latter can mean perfectly smooth and consolidated surfaces just like in a park; or anything from loose sand to pebbles brought straight from the nearest river bed. One can usually avoid the big potholes on two wheels, only to land in a series of ripples across the entire lane width next. On the carretera austral we share the route with cars and trucks, horses and dogs, motorbikes and airplanes. You read it well – for its regular daily services the tiny Santa Bárbara airport simply uses a widened stretch of this camino longitudinal austral…
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After our great couple of days on Caye Caulker we headed back to the mainland and on to the Ginger. We would have liked to stay for a while longer, but already had plans in Guatemala that we had to get to.
We caught the 10:30 ferry back to Belize city and were back in the van and on the road again just after lunch. We headed west up to San Ignacio near the Guatemalan border. We had heard mixed reports about this place, but decided for ourselves that it wasn’t great. We did enquire about doing some cave tubing the next day, but they wanted an extortionate amount of money. We decided to wait until we were in Guatemala where there were a number of other places that also offered this activity.
On Wednesday morning we hit the border to Guatemala, and again had no major issues getting all…
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