Back in South Sudan
It was all set-up. The contacts were made, the logistics organised, and the story there. Conflict has been raging in Blue Nile state in Sudan, following the fashion of South Kordofan.
But then things fell through, and this trip to South Sudan turned into a waiting game. And an expensive one at that.
Juba is not a place to live cheaply, and as I paid $85 a night for a bed in a container—the smell of the local abattoir wafting over—I was given plenty of time to reflect on how fast this city is developing. I was last here in July, covering the independence celebrations. Roads are transforming from dirt to tarmac, buildings are going up, and businesses are opening.
The main basketball courts have been refurbished—basketball is the national sport here in the land of six-foot-plus being the “average” height—and tonight, it was full. Two former NBA stars were here to promote sport and peace.
But in many parts of South Sudan and its borders, peace is still far from arriving. And so was I. Funds have run low, plans have fallen through and promises not kept. An empty-handed return to Nairobi looks likely. Whilst the city is developing, much of its bureaucracy and procedures are not. Things take a long time here