Mohammed deserves an article on our blog, he is by far the most interesting person I’ve met on the trip so far. I met him while wandering around the boat in the dark, he asked me questions about where we were travelling. I then found out about Mohammed’s life. Mohammed grew up in Darfur. In 2003 Mohammed’s village was attacked by a Sudanese Army helicopter and the 73 inhabitants including his father and brother were killed. Mohammed escaped with his mother and sister to the mountains, were the Janjaweed Militia terrorised a small group of refugees for a number of months. Mohammed had travelled to the International Criminal Court to sign a witness statement against the Sudanese Government and President Bashir. Mohammed explained the nature of the conflict was racial, I had always thought it was religious between Christian and Muslim but I was surprised to find out that Mohammed was Muslim. The conflict is between those of African descent and those of Arab descent. Mohammed then began working as a translator for Aid missions sent to Darfur, there a doctor working for Medcin san Frontieres convinced him to study as a Human Rights Lawyer and Mohammed is currently studying  a Masters in Human Rights Law in Cairo. Mohammed then informed me that there was a detainee on the ferry. He was also from Darfur and had been attempting to enter Israel and gain Asylum. However he was caught by the Egyptian police who were extraditing him to Sudan. The penalty for this in Sudan is death. Mohammed told me that as soon as we passed over the border the man would be removed by the Sudanese Army. Mohammed then got worried about being seen talking to me for too long as it might raise the suspicions of Arabian Sudanese on the ferry. We parted ways and in the morning sure enough a military patrol boat approached the ferry and then left we several more people than it arrived with. That was the transfer. He has now disappeared along with thousands of other people from Darfur.  The conflict in Darfur has been in and out of the headlines for a number of years with no consistent effort by the International Community to end the violence. It is reassuring that people like Mohammed are trying to fight for their rights and are trying to make a difference to their own country. Red

2 Responses to “Mohammed”

  1. Wow, touching write-up. It’s scary to realise things like that are going on all around you a lot of the time.

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