Situated in northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea and it has a coastline of 853 km along the Red Sea. With an area of 2,505,810 square kilometres (967,499 sq mi), it is the largest country on the continent.
Rich mineral resources are available in Sudan including: petroleum, natural gas, gold, silver, chromite, asbestos, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, kaolin, cobalt, granite, nickel and tin. Desertification is a serious problem in Sudan.
But, Ramzi continues in his attempts to frighten us ......the perils of travelling in Africa...ooooh...we are so scared Ramzi, we are shaking in our boots!!!
Islamic militants have threatened violence against Sudan's government and could target Western interests following the death of a suspected militant recently.
Four Sudanese men were recently condemned to hang for killing a US aid official , and his driver in Khartoum, and a fifth man was jailed . In earlier hearings, prosecution lawyers and witnesses had described them as "religious extremists" .
Sita and Nopi have the kindest and biggest hearts and have always wanted to join one of these organisations:-
Global Aid Network ;Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International ;World Vision;Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF (Doctors Without Borders);Mercy Corps ; AmeriCares ;CARE ;Malteser International;International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
to become humanitarian aid workers.
The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity but when Ramzi told us that the most lethal year in the history of humanitarianism was 2008, in which 122 aid workers were murdered and 260 assaulted, they were appalled! !
The unsafest countries were Somalia and Afghanistan.
Does this mean that we will not be visiting Somalia either Ramzi??
"NO!!", bellows Ramzi. The country is under a state of emergency, following the intensifying violence across the country!!
Ramzi also told us that the suicide bomber who blew himself up and killed 19 other people in western Somalia last week was a 17-year-old Somali.
Okay, so we won't be visiting Somalia either:-((
How about Eritrea ,a country bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast??
The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Its size is just under 118,000 km² with an estimated population of 5 million. The capital is the beautiful Asmara.
Ramzi says "US officials have accused Eritrea of sending weapons to the rebels, who have taken over much of Mogadishu and southern Somalia" so it may not be safe there either..
Hmmm, Ramzi is obviously very well informed about the activities in the area, and so he is the perfect travelling companion....our knight in shining armour!!!
Thank you Ramziiiiii.
Big hugs from all the girls in the group.....ooooh, Ramzi is verrry happy. ..for now, he is the only male amongst 5 females;-)
Nopi wants to go to Sierra Leone. Ramzi replies in the negative, again:-(
Yes Nopi, I know that you enjoyed the movie "Blood Diamond".
You want to know what conflict-free diamonds are? OK, a conflict-free diamond is a diamond whose profits are not used to fund wars and which is produced and mined under ethical conditions. Only diamonds that are certified and can be traced from the mine to the consumer are conflict-free diamonds.
In relation to diamond trading, blood diamond (also called a converted diamond, conflict diamond, hot diamond or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity, usually in Africa.
The African Union Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on Tuesday urged Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to uphold the right to free expression after a recent media crackdown.
Does this mean that we will not be able to use our cameras???
Ramzi is such a spoilsport. He won't allow us to travel anywhere. Whenever we mention an African country to him, he has a news report to quote......:-(
My travelling companions have begun to change their perspective on Africa after they have listened to Ramzi's frequent news updates and witnessed the stark reality first hand.......
Africa is not just about beautiful landscapes and wildlife.......it is also about sadness, poverty, pain,warlords, crime, corruption, sexual violence!!
Ramzi also told us about how rape is used as a weapon of war in Congo.
Civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are caught between men in uniform who rape with impunity and Rwandan Hutu rebels who commit brutal reprisal killings, the top UN aid official there said on Friday, 26 June 2009.
Doctors Without Borders has reported that 75 percent of all the rape cases it dealt with worldwide were in the eastern Congo!!!
A census by UNICEF and related medical centres reported treatment of 18,505 persons for sexual violence in the first 10 months of 2008, 30 percent of whom were children!!
These are scary stats!!
After much thought we have reached a consensus that due to civil wars, terrorists, religious fanatics; ethnic cleansing, swine flu, Ebola virus, suicide bombings, and pirates amongst other things, it will be in our best interests to simply listen to Ramzi's advice.....
Ramzi realises that we are devastated by the news of MJ's passing and so he has promised us an African safari in the coming week provided that, for now, we go where he tells us to....boooooring, but safe......
We have something really exciting to look forward to this week.......the natural beauty of Africa.....hurray!