Lattest News. Peace
Caravan did not arrive in Cairo as originally planned. However it
will continue its Africa cross country program. Watch for more.
To be edited. Photo captions to come.
On this page are some photos we received via Sandy Dhuyvetter of TravelTalk Radio on behalf of Ali Liquat of Djibouti, whose Africa Peace Caravan took off from Arusha, Tanzania and will end up in Cairo, Egypt for the ATA 34th Congress. Al's latest comments are from Sudan.
" I was waiting and dreaming since 1998 to travel in Sudan. At that time, it was impossible for me to get the visa, and advising by diplomatic authorities, I had to cancel my trip. In 2003, I tried a second time to reach Sudan when I organized a journey which was joining Brussels to Djibouti by the road. I got the visa for Sudan but I had to cancel in Tunis because of other unfortunate reasons after 20 days of travel. With ATA - Africa Peace Caravan, I tried my third chance to go in Sudan. We heard a lot of negative things about Sudan with Medias, and some persons advised us to avoid going there. But we decided to go. We spent 20 days in Sudan and I realized my dream. Everything was difficult at the beginning. We were waiting a lot of time after asking our visas without any news from the Sudan Embassy. We were not sure that we could get it and we even thought to cancel a third time our trip in Sudan. We finally got our visas after a two-months waiting. When we arrived at the border at Galabat, everything was different. We were taken into account, as we were never been in any other country before, as well by the authorities of Customs and Immigration, as by the Sudanese population. We were so surprised that each person that we met, young's, olds, children's, workers of the Government or not, saying to us "You are welcome in Sudan".
Everybody wanted to help us and paid attention on our needs. From the border, two militaries joined us in the Caravan to go the next city. Arrived there, they came down from the car and a Police car escorted us until Gedaref. It was a real Olympic Torch relay as we expected and we described in the feedback of the Africa Peace Caravan.
We thought in the beginning that this escort was to watch me. We understood quickly that it was to protect me in the border zone, as it is a sensitive zone of the country and to help us in the case that we have a mechanic problem or any one else other problem.
When we arrived in Gedaref, a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism was waiting us at hosted warmly at the checkpoint police before coming in the city. They invited us for a lunch and organized a visit of Gedaref.
In the afternoon, we left Gedaref for Wad Medani. But at 7pm o'clock at 6 km before arriving in the city we broke down the clutch cable. Fortunately we were immobilized in a filing station. People came towards us by saying to us "You are welcome in Sudan. Leave you car here for the moment and go to have your dinner. We will send to you a mechanics tomorrow morning".
We spent our night in the filing station by sleeping on the roof of the Caravan. The morning of the day after, the mechanics arrived to fix the clutch cable. But it was badly repaired and we knew that it will break down later. In fact, when he will go back up the cable, it broke down. We were afraid that the cable became to short if he cut it a second time. I preferred by security to alert our Sudanese contact from the Police without waiting in the case that we stayed blocked in this filing station with a broken cable that would be difficult to replace. He answered me that I had to go in the first Police office and they are going to help us. But in that time, the mechanics fixed well the cable.
Anyway, I decided to go in the first Police Station to greet them. we were received with the usual sentence "You are welcome in Sudan" and the Head of Police sent us a Policeman with a motorbike to indicate us the good road to take to go to Khartoum. We arrived at Khartoum a week-end so we were hosted by a friend from the French Embassy that we met in Addis Ababa and by his colleague and by the Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti. The Ambassador of Djibouti organized a meeting for us with the Federal Ministry of Tourism of Sudan and they invited us for a visit of the city during two all days. The last day, we met an old colleague from the French Legion, who is now security officer at the United Nations. He invited us to stay with him and his family for our last night in Khartoum and he escorted us until the checkpoint Police of Khartoum. When we arrived at Atbara, a delegation of the Ministry of Tourism waited us to assist us in their Town. The day after, we were hosted by a Sudanese family in Karima and one day later by the Ministry of Tourism at Dongola. After a two-day trip from Dongola, we arrived at Wadi Halfa where we were welcome by a member of the Ministry of Tourism and by a tour operator.
They organized for us facilities for the ferry for the Caravan and for us.
Africa Peace Caravan wants again to thanks Sandy and Eddie for their help and their support all during our journey. Thanks again to all the member of the Sudanese authorities, to the Sudanese population and to all the persons that we met during on the way who helps us."
Many thanks and best regards,