Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Journal Entries for July 11-15, 2004: The Life of a Diplomat

July 11: Just back from UK poolside party.  Took NYRB and New Yorker writer Samantha Power there.  Spend a few hours chatting with her during the day.  Hopefully won't actually see my name in print. Spent two hours also with Mubarak [Al Mahdi] and [Foreign Minister] Mustapha.

July 12: Went on Hash today.  It was a very pleasant walk through rural Khartoum to the Blue Nile.  I promised the UK ambassador's two sons that I'd do it.  Two bright lads, 13 and almost 17.  Was otherwise busy with meeting another tribal chief, etc.  Spoke to the Minister this evening about freeing political detainees.

July 15: Just attended the first “JIM” (Joint Information Meeting). Four hours (8pm-midnight) that was mostly surreal. The only new GOS information was unbelievable -- about 100,000 voluntary refugee returnees and another 158,000 IDP returnees. Otherwise, challenges to us to present specific info on what we said about continued insecurity, continued jinjaweed activity and government attacks. As far as GOS sees it, they are taking actions -- more police, arrests -- and Darfur is getting more secure. Says can't disarm all jinjaweed right away while rebels are still attacking.

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