This Blog serves as two things: a photo-diary of our lives between 2007 and mid 2011, when we saw some incredible things and met some amazing people; and a reflection of our more normal lives since then.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

New armoured cars arrive in Liberia

Today a large Panama registered roll-on/roll-off ship moored next to us, and after it's berth was secured by armed Nigerian soldiers, it unloaded 15 brand new Cobra 4x4 armoured cars, and 11 brand new Land Rover Defenders (am I envious or what?). The ship then loaded 5 small tanks and a big truck. All these vehicles are owned by the Nigerian Army, who have recently committed to staying in Liberia for another couple of years as part of the UN peacekeeping force. The delivery of these new vehicles is reflection on the current stability of Liberia: out go the tanks, which are slow moving and heavily armoured for serious fighting, and in come the armoured cars for high-speed disbursement of civil unrest, which is currently the biggest threat to Liberia's peace. The vehicles are slightly different from the Cobra in the photo below - they are painted white with "UN" on the sides, and are equipped with blue flashing lights and very loud sirens. Their gun turret is slightly different from that in the photo too - it was not a rotating turret, but more of a hole in the roof surrounded by armour, which allowed the soldier to stand with his head out of the vehicle in a less confrontational and more friendly manner.

Noah and I enjoyed talked to a Nigerian Major who was overseeing the unloading operation, and who explained that the Nigerian army has over 5 million soldiers in it, out of a population of 115 million. Once the unloading had been done, all the Cobras and Land Rovers left in a bright and noisy convoy of flashing lights and loud sirens and powerful engines - it was quite a sight! Olly

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