Authorized Departure On for US Embassy Khartoum

World Factbook Map


Reuters
is reporting that the Department of State has authorized the departure (aka: evacuation) of non-emergency personnel and family members at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum until further notice. I have not seen anything on Juba, where I think we also have a Consulate General and a USAID operation.

The Embassy’s March 10 warden message also “warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Sudan and recommends that American citizens defer all travel to Sudan due to uncertain security conditions following the expulsion of NGOs as well as harassment of humanitarian aid workers, employees of non-governmental organizations, and westerners in general. […] The government of Sudan recently expelled numerous aid groups from the country and senior government officials have publicly called humanitarian aid workers “spies.” Officials from the Sudan Humanitarian Affairs Commission have seized the finances and assets of many of these organizations, as well personal property of aid workers, including passports and laptop computers. Recent protests have featured sharp anti-western rhetoric. There is a continuing possibility that ongoing protests may encourage violent action against Europeans and Americans.”

You may remember that on January 1, 2008, unknown assailants shot and killed two U.S. Embassy employees there – American USAID officer, John Granville and his Sudanese national driver, Abdel Rahman Abbas.

According to the UN reports, in 2008, there were 277 hijackings, 140 more than in 2007, 218 vs. 147 kidnapping of humanitarian personnel, 192 vs. 93 attacks on UN facilities, and 36 vs. 24 personnel hurt. The number killed was similar, 11 vs. 13 but the whereabouts of four people are still unknown.


BBC News
is also just now reporting that four members of the peacekeeping force in the Sudanese region of Darfur have been injured in an ambush and notes that this is the first attack on the Darfur peacekeepers since the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes last week.

It’s not looking good.

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Authorized Departure On for US Embassy Khartoum

World Factbook Map


Reuters
is reporting that the Department of State has authorized the departure (aka: evacuation) of non-emergency personnel and family members at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum until further notice. I have not seen anything on Juba, where I think we also have a Consulate General and a USAID operation.

The Embassy’s March 10 warden message also “warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Sudan and recommends that American citizens defer all travel to Sudan due to uncertain security conditions following the expulsion of NGOs as well as harassment of humanitarian aid workers, employees of non-governmental organizations, and westerners in general. […] The government of Sudan recently expelled numerous aid groups from the country and senior government officials have publicly called humanitarian aid workers “spies.” Officials from the Sudan Humanitarian Affairs Commission have seized the finances and assets of many of these organizations, as well personal property of aid workers, including passports and laptop computers. Recent protests have featured sharp anti-western rhetoric. There is a continuing possibility that ongoing protests may encourage violent action against Europeans and Americans.”

You may remember that on January 1, 2008, unknown assailants shot and killed two U.S. Embassy employees there – American USAID officer, John Granville and his Sudanese national driver, Abdel Rahman Abbas.

According to the UN reports, in 2008, there were 277 hijackings, 140 more than in 2007, 218 vs. 147 kidnapping of humanitarian personnel, 192 vs. 93 attacks on UN facilities, and 36 vs. 24 personnel hurt. The number killed was similar, 11 vs. 13 but the whereabouts of four people are still unknown.


BBC News
is also just now reporting that four members of the peacekeeping force in the Sudanese region of Darfur have been injured in an ambush and notes that this is the first attack on the Darfur peacekeepers since the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes last week.

It’s not looking good.

Arabic 3.5: Better Than Nothing Part II

Lughati al arabic laisat kama yajib. La taqlaq! Adrusu allughah al arabia mundu shahr. Um… kaifa taqoulu kalimat “3.5 hours” bel arabia?

My Arabic is bad. Don’t worry! I’ve been learning Arabic for 1 Month. Um…. how do you say “3.5 hours” in Arabic?

See? It’s not that hard. Anyone can learn Arabic in 3.5 hours (that’s 210 minutes, by the way). And if this does not impress the bejesus out of you, just think — that’s exactly 12,600 seconds of training! Here’s how you might slip this info into a congressional hearing or media event:

We do not send out people without proper training, period. You can be assured that all our personnel going into the war zones have at least 12,600 seconds of Arabic training.


Of course, if 12,600 seconds are really not enough for you, try the 100 most used Arabic phrases to learn here (came with the video/audio below) and here, also with audio.

Arabic 3.5: Better Than Nothing Part II

Lughati al arabic laisat kama yajib. La taqlaq! Adrusu allughah al arabia mundu shahr. Um… kaifa taqoulu kalimat “3.5 hours” bel arabia?

My Arabic is bad. Don’t worry! I’ve been learning Arabic for 1 Month. Um…. how do you say “3.5 hours” in Arabic?

See? It’s not that hard. Anyone can learn Arabic in 3.5 hours (that’s 210 minutes, by the way). And if this does not impress the bejesus out of you, just think — that’s exactly 12,600 seconds of training! Here’s how you might slip this info into a congressional hearing or media event:

We do not send out people without proper training, period. You can be assured that all our personnel going into the war zones have at least 12,600 seconds of Arabic training.


Of course, if 12,600 seconds are really not enough for you, try the 100 most used Arabic phrases to learn here (came with the video/audio below) and here, also with audio.

Insider Quote: A Case of Better Than Nothing?

“I have signed up for the pre-deployment training available to me – including the 3.5 hours (yes hours) of Arabic language training that is apparently deemed sufficient to lead a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq.”

John K. Naland
Foreign Service Officer & AFSA President
Reflections│ Precious Times
Foreign Service Journal, March 2009 (p.76)

Note: FSJ is now in Folio format, so you either read it online or you download an executable file.

Insider Quote: A Case of Better Than Nothing?

“I have signed up for the pre-deployment training available to me – including the 3.5 hours (yes hours) of Arabic language training that is apparently deemed sufficient to lead a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq.”

John K. Naland
Foreign Service Officer & AFSA President
Reflections│ Precious Times
Foreign Service Journal, March 2009 (p.76)

Note: FSJ is now in Folio format, so you either read it online or you download an executable file.