Medecins Sans Frontiers in Lankien, Southern Sudan

Last night, I arrived in a small plane into Lokichoggio border town on the South-East edge of Sudan. From what I can tell, this is the main nerve-centre used by scores of organisations  for the relief of human suffering over the last twenty years of shifting warfare. Funds from contributors to LiveAid, and all those other high profile efforts have, doubtless, passed through here, but the little desert town, split by a tarmac airstrip, on the other side of which is the borderline, and beyond which loom the rusty-red heights of Sudan, is comparatively quiet these days. Relative stability has reigned for a few years, after the ceasefire, but more about that later.

I am sitting in the tranquil Logistics office of the MSF compound. A cool breeze is taking the edge off what would otherwise be a scorching day, and I am enjoying the stasis already, after the last few weeks of mad preparation. Lizzards scuttle everywhere, but really I haven’t been confronted, in this well-kept and clean compound, with anything but a very large cricket/locust in the (flushing!) loo. On the 25th, three days time, I fly, in the MSF ‘caravan’ – an even smaller plane than yesterday – to my Project in Lankien.

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