Shattered Sudan | Drilling for Oil, Hoping for Peace, National Geographic: Wounded South Sudanese Rescued By Media Flight in “No-Fly” Zone

Wounded South Sudanese Rescued By Media Flight in “No-Fly” Zone

A wounded soldier hangs on to a pole to assist in his rescue while being carried to a waiting plane. He was one of five soldiers who waited on the runway for five days with gunshot wounds hoping a plane would come through. In the town of Jiech, the northern government of Sudan allows no flights, and planes are routinely shot down in this corridor. Rebels fight MIGS and helicopter gun ships with tractors and Kalashnikovs.

From the journal:

I tell Commander George that I’ve called in the plane for the afternoon.  George says its good for the afternoon but the morning was bad—we heard gunships all morning and some on the horizon as well.

George’s military camp has a couple of huts with radios run on solar panels and they are good at deciphering GOS codes so they know exactly where bombing and airships will be.

It is a 2-hour walk to the airstrip in the sun on hard cracked ground.  I’ve been lancing blisters and patching my feet, but my legs and feet aren’t in the best shape anymore.  I’ve tried to keep my return flight a secret from the village—But as I sit on the airstrip I see a line of people headed towards us along the horizon.  I’ve made the decision to allow this flight to pick up wounded at Jiech.  They tell me the fighting is over there and guys with gut wounds have been waiting 5 days to be picked up.  I am assured it is safe and Kevin is sending an SRRA commander to make sure it goes smoothly.  But this also means we won’t have room for many of the folks walking here now.  I am proud this charter is also bringing 3 ton of food, medical etc… It won’t make much of a dent, but it’s the best I can do.

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