From a 5 star hotel to a remote village in West Darfur, I spent the last three days following and covering the visit of UNAMID Joint Special Representative and Ambassadors, shooting from dawn to dusk (sometimes later).

I’m not exactly sure of how my life will be in a few months, but I’m sure that the excitation of taking photographs in Darfur, speaking with Darfuris, running with all my gear on my back to an APC or flying over majestic places in an helicopter is not going to disappear quickly. Life …

Now, I hope to get the final authorizations and to be able to finish my final project quickly.

20 October 2011: UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, reading and correcting documents, while flying from El Geneina to Mukjar, West Darfur. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

UNAMID National Staff – First pictures in a studio

The African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is currently the largest peacekeeping mission in the world with more than 25’000 staff, civilian, military and police. Among them, almost 3’000 Sudanese, mostly Darfurian. Directly affected by the conflict, they contribute to the Mission’s mandate and try to bring peace and to provide assistance and protection to their compatriots. Unfortunately, they usually occupy lower positions and are frequently not treated with the same respect than international staff.

This project is about showing their background, motivation, contribution and their dreams. This project is an tribute to those men and women who try to bring a brighter future to their family and their country.

National staff for UNAMID

It took me some time and energy to realize this project. It was the first time I was shooting in a studio and it obviously was quite challenging. But the remaining feeling is really positive and I got a lot of fun doing it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any remarks or suggestions.

I now have to think about a big fat project for my master thesis. Yeaah… time’s running.

Preparation for the Referendum in South Sudan

J-3 before the referendum on independence for  South Sudan. The African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) provides logistic support and particularly air support to carry polling material to the different voting centers.

06 January 2011: UNAMID staff loading votation material, for the upcoming referendum on South Sudan’s independence, in an UNAMID Mi-8 helicopter in El Fasher, North Darfur, Sudan. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

06 January 2011: Members of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) carry polling material brought by UNAMID in El-Lait village, North Darfur, Sudan. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

06 January 2011: Nepalese Special Operation soldiers, peacekeepers with UNAMID, provide security to UNAMID staff in the field, in El-Lait, North Darfur, during a distribution of polling material for the upcoming referendum on South Sudan’s independence. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].

A Long Day under the Sun

Yesterday, ambassadors and representatives of the UN Security Council countries visited UNAMID. Heavy security, close protection, kevlar vests, armored cars and a lot of sun and sand. Waiting for the VIPs to arrive, I suddenly realized all that just became part of a routine. It’s still fun, challenging and exciting but it’s just normal. Just another long day under the sun in Darfur.

07 December 2010: UNAMID soldiers from Rwanda provide security to a convoy during the visit of ambassadors and representatives of the UN Security Council countries to Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur, Sudan. [Click on the picture to enlarge it].