Reporting from Mali
Malkit Shoshan is afgereisd naar Camp Castor, een UN basis vlakbij de Malinese stad Gao. Shoshan deelt een kort verslag van haar reis.
“We landed in Bamako on March 13th, 2016. We stepped out of the Air France airplane into the African heat pervade by a strong smell of woodfire.
At Bamako international airport, we met three Dutch soldiers stationed at Midgard, a UN transit camp that is operated in cooperation between the Swedes and the Dutch contingencies.
The soldiers wore Dutch military uniform with a light desert pattern and on it a bright-yellow vest with the letters MOVCON (Movement Control). From the moment we stepped out of the plane, we were under their supervision. They cleared the way for us for a smooth move through the airport.
After collecting our bags, we walked toward a white UN van. A local Malian driver greeted us in French, and carefully stacked our bags in the back of the car.
We started driving. The roads were in reasonable shape. The local landscape was hidden in the darkness of the night. It was hard to see anything beyond the beaming front lights of the car.
Midgard is relatively a small transit camp. It is located very close to the airport, but it took us 15 minutes to get there. Apparently, the direct road to the camp was closed off and guarded by the Malian army.
Every roadblock, fence or checkpoint is explained to correspond with a security hazard. We had to take a detour.
On our way, the MOVCON guys indicated their local landmarks: the super-camp, the Malian base, and the Bangladeshi one.
These spaces were easy to identify; they were enclosed with barbed wire; one bubble after the other. Together they delineated our route. Checkpoints, camps, guard posts, and fences. Secured corridors for international movement. All installed in the past two years in Mali.”