Breakfast in Khartoum IV (Although I’m frankly not sure of the number)

February 16, 2009

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Ozone is a quiet place these days. Ever since the US embassy in Khartoum warned its citizens to avoid places where expats tended to gather there have been fewer white faces here at the world’s best coffeeshop on a roundabout. Ozone is a particular target apparently.
People are on tenterhooks waiting for the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al Bashir. Will the government kick out NGOs? Will it make life more difficult for the UN? Will there be anti-Western demos?
No-one really knows. There seems to be a degree of embarrassment that the international contingent overreacted last July, when the ICC prosecutor presented his evidence to the judges. Non-essential staff were brought back from Darfur, dependents sent home and anyone with a hatch battened it down. In the end precious little happened. The government tested the water with a few unsourced or arm’s length comments and that was that. So this time everyone is talking about “business as usual” and wondering when the indictments will come. Staff at the US embassy have a sweepstake running on the date.
In the meantime, Ozone is quiet and the chocolate croissants remain sublime.



Ozone is a quiet place these days. Ever since the US embassy in Khartoum warned its citizens to avoid places where expats tended to gather there have been fewer white faces here at the world’s best coffeeshop on a roundabout. Ozone is a particular target apparently.
People are on tenterhooks waiting for the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al Bashir. Will the government kick out NGOs? Will it make life more difficult for the UN? Will there be anti-Western demos?
No-one really knows. There seems to be a degree of embarrassment that the international contingent overreacted last July, when the ICC prosecutor presented his evidence to the judges. Non-essential staff were brought back from Darfur, dependents sent home and anyone with a hatch battened it down. In the end precious little happened. The government tested the water with a few unsourced or arm’s length comments and that was that. So this time everyone is talking about “business as usual” and wondering when the indictments will come. Staff at the US embassy have a sweepstake running on the date.
In the meantime, Ozone is quiet and the chocolate croissants remain sublime.




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