Vince Gainey

an aid worker and regular writer for Polo's Bastards.

Sudan and Darfur: Same Old Same Old

It’s been four years since I stepped on the sands of The Sudan, so coming back felt both familiar and a bit strange. Arrivals at Khartoum airport seemed much the same, though arriving at 2.30 a.m. on a Turkish Airlines flight meant that more than half of the only 30 or so passengers on board…

Zimbabwe: Back From the Brink?

I spent three weeks in Zimbabwe in December 2009; it was my first return to that country in a little over two years. The last time I was there, in late 2007, inflation was heading into outer space, with more OOOOs on the banknotes than a Venetian orgasm; Comrade Bob was digging his heels in…

Review – The Bradt Travel Guide To Sudan

The publication of the Bradt Travel Guide to Sudan (author Paul Clammer) comes at both a welcome and opportune moment. Indeed, how many years is it since we have seen any sort of travel guide for Africa’s largest and possibly most exciting country? The last that I am aware of was Kim Naylor’s ‘Africa –…

Darfur Crisis: Nomads Or Bandits?

At the centre of the conflict in Darfur is the issue of ethnic identity. On the face of it all Darfurians are Muslim and are Sahelian or Saharan people, an age-old mixture of Arab and African resulting from centuries of inter-mixing and inter-marriage. I sat in the market place in Zalingei in West Darfur one…

Darfur Crisis: From The Inside – Pt2

“The wholesale burning of farms; the deportations; the burnt-out populations, brought in by hundreds in convoys; deprived of clothes; the semi-starvation in the camps; the fever-stricken children, lying upon the earth; the appalling mortality”… While this description could readily fit into a news report on the situation in Darfur today, it in fact is a…