Sunday, November 12, 2006

 

Binnenkort wisseling van de wacht?

Hi Hans

I have still got no news regarding the propeller. So at the moment I am still grounded. But we are also still trying to get an extension.
Albertine told me that Bas is supposed to come first week of December and asked if I could stay with him till mid January. The problem is that I believe if the propeller does not get shipped by the end of November it will not be available here before January. With the Christmas holidays in December customs officers will not be working here. For me staying that long might be a problem as well since I may have a chance getting a job in Austria. There is a new business airline starting in May 2007. I have sent a CV and they are interested. Apart from that I found out that the responsible person for pilot training is a former flight instructor of mine. I flew with him when I did my Austrian PPL in 1993.
Ben will come back on 18 November and I will drive them to Mobaye. The road to Bangassou is still no problem as far as security is concerned. But the road from Kongbo to Mobaye is very, very bad as is the road from Grimari to Kuango due to the rains. You can imagine that the people there are not happy having to drive instead of flying. So it will be an interesting drive to Mobaye. Lots of other roads are not very safe at the moment. Birao is still in the hands of rebels. MSF were trying to find someone to fly them to Birao but nobody would go. The latest I have heard was that they want to go by vehicle via Bria, Yalinga, Ouadda. That seems a dangerous undertaking to me since apart from the rebels in the area the roads there are not maintained at all.
This morning we heard that the rebels have also taken Ouanda Djalle. The rebel leader is said to have announced that he will come to Bangui. Rumours are that he is a former liberator, that is to say that he was fighting for Bozize in 2003. He is Chadian and apparently was arrested after the Coup d’Etat. It is said that he spent some time in jail in CAR and then in Chad.
When I was in Berberati the priests there told me that they do not drive far out of town because you are risking having to walk back home after you have been robbed of everything. M’Baiki seems still ok. Last week Regine and Jacky were here. They said that the checkpoints on the way to Bangui are guarded heavily though at the moment.
One thing I have heard is very worrying. It seems that in the area of Kaga Bandoro the regular military has been destroying some villages where they suspected that inhabitants supported the rebels. Furthermore I heard that the rebels are treating the population much better than the military. Not a very reassuring situation.
Yesterday I read on the Austrian news web site that in the course of last week about 220 people were killed in eastern Chad by Janjaweed from Sudan.


Regards
Mario

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