FAREWELL MARJAN... Marjan, the one-eyed lone
lion is no longer the king of
PICTURES from the grenade attack!
UNAMSIL, UN MISSION IN SIERRA LEONE
Following, the very few pictures I was able to take of UN prsonnel from UNAMSIL contingent in Sierra Leone.
Covering UN troops on the ground since long, this was the first time I was to experience an all but friendly behaviour, although I was always more than happy to show my UNAMSIL Press Card. With a few but not significant exceptions (markedly Nigerians and Indians), I saw scared peacekeepers, unreasonably suspicious about everyone and everything. The so-so assorted composition of the contingent (scheduled total of 13.000+ personnel by end of July) could well explain the extremely poor results achieved and UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan's desperate appeal for better-qualified, better-equipped peacekeepers to be provided by richer countries.
56364 Checkpoint in Freetown.
56380 Philippine contingent
56376 Guinean contingent providing a hitch to locals
56377 Nigerian UN forces with armoured vehicle, patrolling Freetown
56381 Nigerian peacekeeper. Nigerians, besides being perhaps the most effective contingent, were also long-time hosts in Sierra Leone as part of ECOMOG forces.
56366 UN campment in Lungi airport
56363 Guinean peacekeepers in Bo
56384 Indian peacekeepers convoy on the Freetown-Masiaka highway
56357 Indian peacekeepers in Mammy Yoko Hotel (UN Headquarter), Freetown
56371 Onboard a MI8 UN Helicopter
56368 A cargo C-130 plane from Jordanian Air Force in Lungi airport
56354 In Sierra Leone, as in other theatres UN was using these old russian MI8 helos.
56358 Nigerian peacekeeper manning a checkpoint in Freetown
Farewell, good ol' Marjan... The lone king of Kabul zoo succumbs to his age at 48, after surviving years and years of deprivations and symbolizing to kabulis the spirit of resiliency itself Well.....that's sad news, indeed. To my eyes, Marjan symbolized hope. However, in thinking about that dear old lion's death I choose to believe that when he heard the swoosh of kites flying over Kabul, heard the roars from the football stadium, experienced the renewed sounds of music in the air and heard the click-click of chess pieces being moved around chessboards....well, the old guy knew that there was plenty of hope around and it was okay for him to let go and fly off, amid kite strings, to wherever it is the spirits of animals go.
Peace to you Marjan and peace to Afghanistan.
[Diana Smith, via the Internet]