Sunday, June 7, 2015

Journal Entry for February 26, 2004: Trying to Catch Up with USAID

Started the day running a bit late because I actually slept until my alarm. Checked the email, used my exercise bike and took a shower, leaving a bare 15 minutes for breakfast. At ten, I met the leaders of the new SPLM office in Khartoum. They were clandestine but now the youth and women’s section had become open. I made them feel welcome (and reported same). Bright, committed and focused. It was a pleasure to meet them. For lunch, I went to [my military attaché's] house to meet a couple of Sudanese generals and the local military attaches. Spent some time talking with the PLO attaché. He was polite and likable. I am glad I don’t defend US policy on Palestine for a living. Spoke to Pasquale a couple of times by phone to do him a favor – get extra pages into his passport – and about leaving for the Nile on Sunday. Did some office work and eventually wound up at the British ambassador’s place to hear from him – he was just back from Kenya – what USAID policy on Darfur is. What I mean by that, is that USAID – one part of the USG – is not telling the State Department – another part of the USG – what it is doing about meeting Darfur rebels but is talking to Her Majesty’s Government. After leaving, and on the way to the Japanese Ambassador’s for dinner, I managed to call Nairobi via Washington and transmit the intelligence on USAID to my State Department boss soon to arrive in Kenya. (He had earlier called me from Amsterdam to see what I knew.) Dinner was quite excellent Japanese food including sushi and tempura. The Ambassador had actually brought a Japanese chef with him, the only one to apply for the job. Also at dinner were the Libyan, quite jovial, and his wife, a UN person from Yemen and the Greek Ambassador. The Greek looks dour all the time but is simply Greek – cynical about everything but also with a happy appreciation of the absurd. The Yemeni had a simply endless list of problems that would make the peace process in Sudan “much more difficult than everyone believes.” Another day in the life.

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